Singapore will this month play host to the largest gathering of naval vessels, as part of celebrations for the navy's 50th anniversary.
From May 7, led by the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN), about 30 warships from 20 countries will make their way to the Republic from the Malacca Strait and South China Sea. Participating countries include China, the United States, Japan, Malaysia, Russia and Australia.
As part of the group sail, the warships will take part in the Western Pacific Naval Symposium Multilateral Sea Exercise, where Singapore will lead in exercising the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea.
The code was signed in 2014 by 21 members of the Western Pacific Naval Symposium, which includes China and eight Asean countries. It guides how military vessels should react to situations to reduce the risk of incidents at sea.
After arriving in Singapore, the warships will take part in the International Maritime Review on May 15 - a show of strong ties forged in the RSN's 50-year history, said RSN50 organising committee deputy chairman Saw Shi Tat.
"This is the first time that the Singapore navy is organising the International Maritime Review," Colonel Saw told reporters last Friday. "The scale... is testament to the friendships we have forged with friends and partners all over the world."
With President Tony Tan Keng Yam as the reviewing officer, the event will comprise a parade, a land review of the warships in harbour, and a sea review of warships at the anchorage.
During the review, Changi Naval Base will be officially named RSS Singapura - Changi Naval Base. More than 4,000 guests and participants will be present, including over 30 chiefs of navy and directors-general of coast guards.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will commission the navy's first Littoral Mission Vessel (LMV) on Friday, which marks 50 years since the Singapore naval ensign was first raised at Telok Ayer Basin on May 5, 1967. The vessel, named Independence, is the first of eight LMVs locally designed and built here.
A time capsule of items marking the RSN's achievements since its silver jubilee in 1992 will be sealed, such as a poster of the ports-of-call during the RSN's first voyage around the world in 2000, and a replica of the Independence-class LMV.
Events are lined up for the public, including storytelling sessions by men and women of the navy for children, and rope-tying workshops at selected Safra clubs during the June school holidays. In November, the public will get to tour navy ships, view equipment and weapons, and interact with navy personnel.
"The navy's development over the past 50 years has closely mirrored the development of Singapore," said Col Saw. "And in its golden jubilee year, all can be proud of the navy's achievements and contributions that it has made to the defence of our country."
Correction note: An earlier version of the story referred to Colonel Saw Shi Tat as the RSN50 organising committee chairman. He is the deputy chairman. We are sorry for the error.