SINGAPORE - More than 800 personnel from 21 countries will be involved in a series of shore and sea activities, in an exercise to address potential threats such as the spread of weapons of mass destruction.
Over the next four days, Singapore will be hosting the exercise, codenamed Deep Sabre. The countries involved include Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Russia and the United States.
Senior Minister of State for Defence Maliki Osman, who officiated the exercise's opening ceremony at the Changi Command and Control Centre on Tuesday (Sept 27), highlighted the value of such exercises to prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction.
"As a small country located astride key sea lines of communication, Singapore recognises that we have an important role to play in the common fight against the proliferation of (weapons of mass destruction)," he said.
Among the scenarios to be played out in the exercise include maritime interdiction operations, where a vessel suspected of smuggling weapons of mass destruction is discovered and a multi-national task force comprising maritime and air assets is pulled together to locate, track and intercept it.
Besides the Republic of Singapore Navy, the Singapore Customs and the Singapore Civil Defence Force will be among those taking part.
During his opening address, Dr Maliki also noted some of the Republic's efforts to tackle such threats, including the Information Fusion Centre which facilitates information sharing and collaboration between international partners.
Singapore has hosted the exercise in 2005 and 2009. For the first time, the Information Fusion Centre, a regional maritime security information-sharing centre with links to 71 agencies in 38 countries, will feature in the exercise.