It was a significant occasion in early March for the crew of HMAS Dechaineux as it was the first official port visit conducted by any submarine - from any nation - to the southeast Asian nation.
The port visit was also significant as the demonstration of the Collins Class submarine capability to the Kingdom of Brunei symbolised the growing Defence relationship between the two nations.
To mark the occasion, Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Noonan made a working visit to the submarine and welcomed His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah Ibni His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Crown Prince of Brunei and General of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces, on board.
“Visiting Brunei is new for most of Dechaineux’s crew and it was a unique opportunity to see and experience a different part of the world,” Commander Brad Francis, Commanding Officer of Dechaineux, said.
“Meeting the Crown Prince and the Sultan of Brunei is an experience the crew will never forget,” Commander Francis said.
Other dignitaries, including the Second Minister of Defence (Brunei), Commander of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces, the Commander of the Royal Brunei Navy, and the High Commissioner of Australia to Brunei, also visited the submarine.
The dignitaries were welcomed on board for a tour of Dechaineux by the crew and plaques were exchanged to mark the significance of the occasion.
Petty Officer Electronic Warfare - Submarines Claire Goward was pleased to visit a new country.
“I have never been to Brunei before so it was one of the experiences that I will always remember,” she said.
“It’s experiences like this that make a career in submarines unique.”
HMAS Dechaineux will continue its South East Asian deployment before returning to Australia later this year.
Imagery is available on the Defence Image Library: https://images.defence.gov.au/S20201129.