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Prince of Brunei Visits Naval Special Warfare Units

by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Chelsea D. Meiller
14 March 2023 His Royal Highness (HRH) Prince ‘Abdul Mateen of Brunei visited Naval Special Warfare (NSW) West Coast-based commands in Coronado, Calif., for an immersive tour, March 13-14.

During the visit, HRH Prince Mateen, who is also a Brunei Royal Air Force Major, spent time with Rear Admiral Keith B. Davids, commander, Naval Special Warfare Command, and NSW personnel to discuss future areas for collaboration.

“One of my top priorities is to strengthen our relationships with like-minded maritime nations, deepening interoperability and strategic cooperation,” said Davids. “Prince Mateen’s visit highlights the importance of our nations’ special operations capabilities to meet the challenges we face together particularly in the Indo-Pacific."

During the visit HRH Prince Mateen also received an overview of NSWG-1’s human performance program. Comprised of strength and conditioning training, sports medicine, performance psychology, performance nutrition, and research and technology as it relates to human performance, the program uses a holistic approach to align resources for optimal performance and recovery.

With the U.S. Special Operations Command’s mantra of “humans are more important than hardware,” advanced programs like these increase NSW’s operational readiness and capability.

"We were honored to have His Royal Highness Prince Mateen visit our command and meet our Sailors,” said Capt. David Abernathy, commodore, NSWG 1. “The exchange of knowledge and expertise strengthens our partnership with Brunei and enables us to work more effectively together in the future."

The tour also included a visit to the NSWG-1 combat training tank where naval commandos train to conduct high-risk aquatic evolutions. The force is placing a renewed emphasis on missions that only NSW can do on, and high-risk aquatic evolutions equips and prepares NSW Sailors to carry out highly complex undersea missions.

"Maintaining and strengthening partnerships is critical to achieving the objectives laid out in the U.S. National Defense Strategy," said Abernathy. "Our partnership with Brunei enhances our ability to operate in the Indo-Pacific region and supports our shared commitment to regional stability and security."

On the second day of the tour, HRH Prince Mateen toured NSW Center, where he observed the training of NSW candidates. The prince’s next stop was an underway aboard a combatant craft in San Diego Harbor. Later that day, he toured a West Coast-based NSW unit headquarters.

The visit also builds upon HRH Prince Mateen’s visit alongside His Majesty the Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah to Washington, D.C., to meet with President Biden last year during the U.S. Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Special Summit and continues a long tradition of security cooperation and people-to-people exchanges between the United States and Brunei.

Since signing the Treaty of Peace, Friendship, Commerce and Navigation over 170 years ago, the Navy has focused on strengthening and maintaining relationships with Brunei and throughout South and Southeast Asia and invigorating the Navy’s commitment to key ASEAN partners.
Brunei’s armed forces engage in joint exercises, training programs, and other military cooperation with the United States, with the annual Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercise at the core of the bilateral defense relationship.

Naval Special Warfare is the nation's elite maritime special operations force, uniquely positioned to extend the Fleet's reach and gain and maintain access for the Joint Force in competition and conflict.

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