"It is an honor that this friendly activity can be held in Makassar City," Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI) Commander Admiral Yudo Margono stated during the opening of the event in Makassar, Monday.
The start of the event was marked by a colossal dance performance by the Bugis Makassar ethnic group that depicted the skills of the Bugis Makassar ancestors in crossing the ocean.
Meanwhile, the invitees and guests of honor from 36 countries, including the United States, Australia, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Canada, China, Chile, Fiji, India, England, Japan, Kenya, South Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, and the Netherlands, enjoyed a colossal dance performance that was demonstrated by 100 personnel.
The participants from 36 countries will partake in various activities scheduled on June 5-8, 2023, such as Ice Breaking, International Fleet Review (IFR), International Maritime Security Symposium (IMSS), City Tour, City Parade, Fun Bike, Admiral Lunch, Bilateral Meeting Welcome Dinner, Maritime Exhibition, and Gala Dinner.
Moreover, humanitarian activities to be conducted include implementing the engineering civic action program (ENCAP) by building the MNEK monument in the Centre Point Indonesia (CPI) and tourist alleys as well as conducting repairs of the roof of the Lae-Lae Middle School, and repairing road facilities in Lanraki. Moreover, the medical civic action program (MEDCAP) will be implemented by carrying out dental treatment, mass circumcision, and cataract surgery.
The MNEK is a non-war exercise by prioritizing regional maritime cooperation, disaster management, and humanitarian operations to strengthen cooperation between the Indonesian Navy and friendly countries.
Chief of Naval Staff (Kasal) TNI Admiral Muhammad Ali stated that this friendship exercise aims to share knowledge and experience between countries.
He noted that the MNEK activities were aimed at strengthening and supporting each other after the COVID-19 pandemic, and specifically for the Indonesian Navy, 24 warships were deployed to participate in these activities.
"The success of this activity is certainly inseparable from the support of the people in this area that prioritize local wisdom," he affirmed.
As a form of commitment in MNEK 2023, Navy representatives from 36 countries signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in cooperation in joint strengthening and recovery.
Related news: Navy holds Asia-Pacific mental health symposium in Bali
Related news: Navy foils attempts to smuggle illegal workers to Malaysia
Related news: Navy names new KRI Kapak, KRI Panah fast attack boats