Australia’s Deputy Naval Chief receives warm welcome in Padang

This article has photo gallery Published on CMDR Fenn Kemp (author and photographer)

Location(s): Padang, Indonesia

Topic(s): HMAS Anzac (F150), Exercise KOMODO

Australia’s Deputy Chief of NavyRear Admiral Mike Noonan, AM, RAN, poses for photos with enthusiastic locals during the opening parade for Exercise Komodo in the Indonesian city of Padang, West Sumatra. (photo: CMDR Fenn Kemp)
Australia’s Deputy Chief of NavyRear Admiral Mike Noonan, AM, RAN, poses for photos with enthusiastic locals during the opening parade for Exercise Komodo in the Indonesian city of Padang, West Sumatra.

Australia’s Deputy Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral Mike Noonan, has experienced the warmest of welcomes during a visit to Padang in West Sumatra.

Admiral Noonan found himself the focus of local enthusiasm as he was leaving the opening parade for Exercise KOMODO – a maritime exercise involving 23 nations including Australia from 12-17 April 2016.

Dozens of Padang residents, from families to school children squeezed into the frame for a picture with the Admiral in the distinctive uniform and Australian accent.  

“Now I know how Tom Cruise must feel!” Admiral Noonan joked later. 

“The genuine hospitality of the people of Padang has been very humbling.”

The Royal Australian Navy Frigate HMAS Anzac is participating in Exercise KOMODO which will see regional nations combine in a series of maritime evolutions involving a wide range of challenges, from humanitarian and disaster relief to maritime conflict. 

Exercise KOMODO 16 is held off the Mentawai islands of Western Sumatra.

Admiral Noonan also attended the Western Pacific Naval Symposium which was hosted by the TNI-AL in Padang at the same time. 

"Australia and Indonesia have so much in common both as a military and as a people," Admiral Noonan said. 

"From what I experienced here in Padang, our relationship is doing very well indeed."