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Colourful welcome for HMS Spey as first RN ship in Bali for 25 years

Logistics officer Lt Joe Howell (centre) shows his traditional Indonesian dancing skills
7 October 2022
The people of Bali rolled out the red carpet – and then danced on it – to welcome the first Royal Navy ship in 25 years.

Patrol ship HMS Spey spent four days in the Indonesian province – the latest visit on a five-year deployment reinvigorating the Royal Navy’s presence in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region in company with her sister ship HMS Tamar.


Spey was greeted in the port of Kuta Selatan by Indonesian military, Bali’s Governor I Wayan Koster and traditional Balinese dancers and musicians.


Having presented Spey’s Executive Officer Lieutenant Commander Bridget Macnae with a welcoming garland, she and her sailors were encouraged to take part in the welcome ceremony.


On receiving headdress and sashes they were ready to join in Poco-Poco and Maumere dancing which included a display by a local children’s dance troupe.

Speeches followed and then the ship opened for tours to visitors.


"I hope this will bring our navies close together as we enjoy the beauty and cultural abundance that Bali offers," Lieutenant Commander Macnae said.


"This visit is also an opportunity for us to use the logistics services in Bali, taking on the fresh stores and fuel we need to keep HMS Spey at sea on her mission. We are very grateful for the hospitality shown by the Indonesian people.”


The four-day stop also allowed time for sporting fixtures with both the Indonesian Navy and the crew of the futuristic-looking American littoral combat ship USS Charleston, also visiting Bali.


Upon sailing Spey conducted joint exercises with Indonesian warships, including the frigate KRI Raden Eddy Martadinata.


Having recently taken part in Australia’s largest military exercise of the year, Kakadu, the patrol ship is now heading for the Philippines and participation in another major international workout, Exercise Sama Sama, which begins later this month.

I hope this will bring our navies close together as we enjoy the beauty and cultural abundance that Bali offers.

Lt Cdr Bridget McNae

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