Commander of US Indo-Pacific Command, Admiral Philip Davidson, calls on Ng Eng Hen

Admiral Philip Davidson (left) shared his command's plans for engaging the Asia-Pacific region during his meeting with Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen on March 5, 2019.
Admiral Philip Davidson (left) shared his command's plans for engaging the Asia-Pacific region during his meeting with Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen on March 5, 2019.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/NG ENG HEN

SINGAPORE - The commander of the United States Indo-Pacific Command, Admiral Philip Davidson, called on Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen on Tuesday (March 5) as part of his introductory visit to Singapore, said the Ministry of Defence (Mindef).

During the meeting, they reaffirmed both countries' desire to strengthen the bilateral defence relationship, Mindef said in a statement on Tuesday.

They also discussed initiatives that would increase the breadth and depth of the cooperation between Singapore and the US.

Adm Davidson, who is visiting Singapore from Monday (March 4) to Thursday (March 7), also shared his command's plans for engaging the Asia-Pacific region during the meeting with Dr Ng, said Mindef.

The US Indo-Pacific Command has about 375,000 civilian and military personnel assigned to its area of responsibility which covers about half the earth's surface, stretching from the waters off the west coast of the US to the western border of India, and from Antarctica to the North Pole.

It was renamed from the US Pacific Command last year in a move signalling the growing importance of India to the Pentagon, reports said.

Adm Davidson, who assumed command in May 2018, met Dr Ng the following month on the sidelines of the 17th Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore. Dr Ng was also received by Adm Davidson at the command's headquarters in Honolulu, Hawaii, during a working visit in August 2018.

The top US military officer also called on Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant-General Melvyn Ong, on Tuesday and reviewed a guard of honour prior to the meeting with Dr Ng.

The admiral also visited Changi Naval Base, where he received briefings on the Information Fusion Centre and the Changi Regional Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Coordination Centre.

Mindef said Adm Davidson's visit underscored the "excellent and longstanding" defence relations between Singapore and the US.

The two defence establishments interact regularly through numerous bilateral and multilateral exercises, high-level visits, professional exchanges and cross-attendance of courses and seminars, it added.