Panca Nugraha, Mataram – The 3rd Multilateral Naval Exercise Komodo (MNEK) 2018 is to be held next May in the waters of Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB), and is expected to involve at least 42 warships from 42 countries.
The Indonesian Navy is currently preparing for the event, which will focus on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
The naval exercise will be the third to be hosted by Indonesia following 2014's inaugural MNEK in Batam, Riau Islands, and the MNEK 2016 in West Sumatra's provincial capital of Padang and the Mentawai Islands.
Col. Feri Supriadi, a member of the Eastern Fleet Command team that is organizing the exercise, said the MNEK also aimed to promote tourism in the area and to provide local citizens with social assistance.
"We are collaborating with the NTB tourism office to support the province's tourism sector through this event," Feri told a press conference on Wednesday in Mataram, NTB.
During the exercise, the crews of the participating warships – which will anchor in the waters off Lembar Port – are expected to assist in repairing public facilities on Lombok, such as village roads, houses of worship and public toilets.
"A hospital ship will also offer free healthcare services at Carik Port, North Lombok," Feri added. (ipa)