SINGAPORE - Singapore and South Korea have jointly organised a maritime security field training exercise that is due to begin on Tuesday (April 30).
The exercise is part of efforts to strengthen cooperation within the Asean Defence Ministers' Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus), which comprises the 10 Asean countries as well as Australia, China, Japan, India, South Korea, New Zealand, Russia and the United States.
Singapore's Ministry of Defence (Mindef) announced on Sunday that the exercise, which will conclude on May 13, will involve 16 ships, six aircraft and about 700 personnel from the 18 countries.
Participants will conduct a series of professional exchanges ashore, as well as maritime security drills in the waters off South Korea and Singapore.
Mindef said the Republic of Singapore Navy's (RSN) Formidable-class frigate RSS Stalwart arrived in South Korea earlier on Sunday for the exercise.
The opening ceremony will be officiated in Busan, South Korea, on Tuesday by South Korean navy commander, maritime battle group 3, Rear-Admiral Lee Seong-yeol.
Exercise co-directors, RSN head of naval operations Rear-Admiral Edwin Leong and South Korean navy director, maritime operations centre, Rear-Admiral Hwang Sun-woo, will also be present at the opening ceremony, along with representatives from the ADMM-Plus navies.
Mindef said the exercise is the culmination of Singapore and South Korea's co-chairmanship of the ADMM-Plus Experts' Working Group on Maritime Security. The chairmanship is from 2017 to 2020.
The two countries had set out to promote the building of mutual trust and understanding among the ADMM-Plus countries through strategic dialogue as well as practical cooperation.
Under their co-chairmanship, the ADMM-Plus navies agreed in November 2017 to adopt and practice the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea, a confidence-building measure that enhances maritime safety by reducing misunderstandings and preventing miscalculations at sea.
Singapore and South Korea also conducted the Future Leaders' Programme in June 2018 to encourage collaboration within the ADMM-Plus community on maritime security.
The programme included professional sharing on topics such as maritime terrorism as well as visits to a RSN frigate, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore and Singapore's Police Coast Guard.