When taking into consideration multilateral cooperation among ASEAN navies, one must recognize the significance of the pillar “Political and Security Community” (APSC). The navies of all ASEAN – “ASEAN navy,” by definition, play a vital role in addressing and mitigating common regional maritime threats. However, in order to respond to common regional maritime problems, the best naval operational approach is interoperability, and, the best way to ensure interoperability is through preparatory activities geared toward developing military responsiveness, readiness, and seamless execution. Moreover, combined and/or multilateral military exercises promote knowledge development, mutual respect, trust, and understanding, as well as reinforce the need for interoperability. ASEAN navies have always engaged in bilateral naval exercises as well as occasional participation in regional multilateral naval exercises, such as KOMODO, LIMA, and ADMM-PLUS EWG on MS FTX. Therefore, there is a strong historical precedent for AMNEX; the only differentiating feature is that in the case of AMNEX, only ASEAN navies will exclusively participate.
The First ASEAN Multilateral Naval Exercise (the 1st AMNEX 2017) will sporadically occur on and around Sattahip Naval Base in the northern part of the Gulf of Thailand. The 1st AMNEX 2017 – which will mark an important event in the history of ASEAN navies – will follow the Standard Operating Procedures previously approved during the 9th ASEAN Navy Chiefs’ Meeting in Myanmar.
The exercise has been scheduled to have the Harbor Phase conducted from 13-17 November, the Sea Phase on 21st November, and the Post-Exercise Debriefing on 22nd November 2017.