Adm. John C. Aquilino, Commander of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, visited Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei, on an overseas trip Aug. 7–9, 2022, where he met with His Majesty Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, The Sultan of Brunei Darussalam, Maj. Gen. Dato Paduka Haszaimi, Commander of Royal Brunei Armed Forces, and other senior military and government leaders.
In Brunei, Adm. Aquilino worked to advance cooperation and partnership with Bruneian leaders on issues of mutual concern in defense of a free and open Indo-Pacific. Adm. Aquilino, joined by U.S. Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam, Caryn R. McClelland, discussed ways to strengthen Brunei’s security cooperation with the United States and regional partners to address global challenges such as violent extremism and climate change. Aquilino also focused on enhancing training collaboration and intelligence sharing to respond to and prevent emerging threats to Brunei and regional security.
The relationship between the United States and Brunei Darussalam began when the USS Constitution dropped anchor in the Brunei Bay. The historical visit resulted in the two countries eventually forming a Treaty of Peace, Friendship, Commerce and Navigation that has been active since 1850.
More recently, Brunei and the U.S. Army Pacific participated in Exercise Pahlawan Warrior in and around Brunei in June, and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Higgins (DDG 76) made a port call on July 25, 2022, in honor of His Majesty the Sultan of Brunei’s 76th birthday.