Strengthening our Friendship with the Royal Brunei Navy

29 Jul 20

(Caption of photo above) "Upperdeck, Hormat!"

Both ships' crew lined their respective decks as part of the closing ceremony as KDB Darulehsan conducted a sail past.

"Exercise Pelican is closing, but our journey together is not. We look forward to sailing and exercising together at RIMPAC 20, and we wish you a successful exercise and firing!" – LTC Chua Eileen, Commanding Officer, RSS Supreme.


Over the past three days, our Formidable-class frigate RSS Supreme and Darussalam-class patrol vessel KDB Darulehsan came together in the Philippine Sea for Exercise Pelican 39/20. During the bilateral exercise, both ships conducted gunnery firing, communication serials, and manoeuvring exercises.

"Exercise Pelican has once again allowed us to engage with close friends whom we have developed relationships with over the years. Out at sea, it is these time-tested partnerships that allow us to operate well together, and support each other should the need arise." – LTC Chua Eileen, Commanding Officer RSS Supreme.

This year's opening ceremony would be remembered as a first of its kind for Exercise Pelican – completely 'contactless', with both ship COs exchanging remarks over the radio out at sea.

"It is quite fortunate that during these challenging times, the Royal Bruneian Navy and the Republic of Singapore Navy are still able to conduct our important bilateral exercise – Exercise Pelican. I hope this year's exercise will continue to build and strengthen the ties found amongst us – enhancing interoperability between the RBN and RSN. With this, I hereby declare the commencement of Exercise Pelican 39/20!" – Commander Haji Edy Jofren bin PDP DP Haji Abd Jalil, Commanding Officer KDB Darulehsan.

"Direct hit on Hostile Zero-One! Target assessed now DESTROYED!"

To exert pressure on the 'enemy' (simulated by a Killer Tomato target), RSS Supreme and KDB Darulehsan conducted weaving as they tracked and closed in to the target together.

Once within range, both ships opened fire and successfully destroyed the target! BZ!

Most bilateral exercises are planned with multiple face-to-face discussions and a final pre-sail brief for both parties in-theatre to ensure a smooth execution out at sea. However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, officers from RSS Supreme and KDB Darulehsan held regular online discussions and sharing sessions in order to plan this year's Exercise Pelican.

"We conducted the pre-sail brief online before we left Singapore. As the RSN lead planner for Exercise Pelican, we had to adapt to the circumstances and use every means available to communicate our plans. It was definitely a novel experience for us all." – CPT Joycelyn Poi, Operations Officer RSS Supreme.

Did you know that we have many ways of communicating out at sea? Apart from electronic and radio communications, we can also send coded messages via nautical flags. We even have a flag for every letter and number!

During Exercise Pelican, both ships had a friendly competition to decipher coded messages via flag signals. The final result was a tie!

(Photo courtesy of ME5 Lee Wei Xiang)

Keeping our communication fundamentals strong! Our communication system experts take turns to send and decipher morse code messages during a communication exercise.

As a parting message to our friends on KDB Darulehsan, we wished them all the best for the upcoming multinational exercise!