Indonesian navy ship leaves Jeddah after three-day port call
A new Indonesian naval ship, KRI Bung Tomo 357, left Jeddah Islamic Port Saturday morning after a three-day transit.
Named after one of Indonesia’s national heroes, Bung Tomo had arrived in Jeddah Wednesday morning while on its way to Jakarta from the UK where it was built.
While in transit, the crew made courtesy calls on port officials and the consul general of Indonesia, and performed Umrah in Makkah. A group of students from the Indonesian School in Jeddah had an opportunity to tour the ship and take a close look at the modern weapons on board.
“This is the third stop of KRI Bung Tomo (on its way) from the UK to Indonesia. Saudi Arabia has been chosen due to its excellent relations with Indonesia as demonstrated by the facilities and assistance extended to our ship and allowing its crew to perform Umrah,” said the ship’s commander Kol. Yayan Sofiyan.
“Our transit in Jeddah is also a part of our naval diplomacy to enhance bilateral relations between the two brotherly countries,” he added.
On Friday night, KRI Bung Tomo hosted a cocktail party where a traditional Javanese dance and Poco-Poco dance, Indonesian martial arts and several other performances were held.
The reception was attended by Indonesia’s Ambassador Abdurrahman Muhammad Fachir, Consul General Dharmakirty Syailendra Putra, Defense Attache in Riyadh Kol. Chb. Roedy Roemin, prominent members of Indonesian community, diplomats from southeast Asian countries and local officials.
In his address, the ambassador thanked the commander of the western fleet of Royal Saudi Navy for the hospitality and cooperation extended to KRI Bung Tomo and its crew.
“The procurement of KRI Bung Tomo 357 and two other ships of the same type has been the realization of a long-term modernization blueprint of its defense. As the world’s largest archipelago comprising more than 17,000 islands, Indonesia needs to strengthen its naval defense to protect its vast boundaries,” he said.
He added that Indonesian navy is obliged to ensure safety and security to ships crossing Indonesia’s territorial waters.