President Yudhoyono to Open Multilateral Naval Exercise Komodo

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, BATAM — President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has confirmed to officially open the Multilateral Naval Exercise Komodo (MNEK) 2014 to be held in Batam, Riau Island, at the end of March.

Colonel I Gusti Kompiang, on behalf of the MNEK 2014 committee, informed the press after the coordination meeting in Batam on Tuesday, that President Yudhoyono will officially open the joint navel exercise participated by 18 countries, including Indonesia, and attended by Australia as an observer state.

The participants include the navy from ten ASEAN member states and India, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, United States, China, and Russia.

MNEK 2014 will be held in Natuna, Anambas and Batam Island, involving 19 Indonesian Navy ships and 13 foreign war ships.

“As an update, the preparations for MNEK 2014 are 85 percent completed. The Navy has built bridges, schools and houses to be used in limited exercise in Anambas and Natuna,” Colonel I Gusti Kompiang explained.

During the joint-exercise, there will be mitigation simulation for disasters, such as tsunami, earthquake, and gas pipe blast, that involves five thousands local residences in Natuna and Anambas.

Head of Natuna District Ilyas Sabli noted that the local government has allocated Rp1.7 billions to support MNEK 2014, out of which Rp1.3 billions will be used for social service, such as health service and public facilities, which are excluded from the local budget plan.

The rest of the amount of Rp400 millions, meanwhile, will be used for ceremonial events, culinary and entertainment activities to host all MNEK 2014 participants.

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