Singapore navy takes part in exercise with 20 countries to boost regional maritime security against terrorism, piracy

A Republic of Singapore Navy serviceman at the RSN’s Information Fusion Centre providing an update on the regional maritime situation at a webinar. PHOTO: MINDEF
International liaison officers and RSN servicemen using the real-time information-sharing system to facilitate drills at sea. PHOTO: MINDEF

SINGAPORE - The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) has joined 20 other countries in a naval exercise led by the United States Navy as part of efforts to beef up regional responses against maritime terrorism and piracy threats in South-east Asia.

The 10-day exercise, which will end on Friday (Aug 20), features simulated drills, such as ship-boarding in the waters of the straits of Malacca and Singapore, and the South China Sea.

The exercise, which started in 2002, is in its 20th edition.

This year's exercise comprises a three-day maritime security webinar followed by a sea phase. The webinar brought together experts to discuss and exchange best practices to deal with maritime security threats in South-east Asia.

The at-sea components were coordinated through the combined exercise headquarters set up at the Changi Command and Control Centre in RSS Singapura-Changi Naval Base.

Noting the transnational nature of maritime threats, the RSN's Information Fusion Centre (IFC) and its attached international liaison officers led the exchange of real-time information sharing in order to coordinate the operational responses of participating aircraft and ships out at sea.

Established in April 2009, the IFC allows maritime security information to be shared across countries.

In its statement regarding the exercise, the Ministry of Defence said on Thursday: "These efforts can help to strengthen collaborative efforts in countering maritime security threats in the region."

Head of the IFC, Lieutenant Colonel Lester Yong, said the exercise "has grown from strength to strength, bringing together like-minded maritime stakeholders to strengthen practical cooperation".

"This year, despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, we continued to exercise information-sharing processes through the IFC's Real-time Information-sharing System, enhancing operational responses at sea," he said.

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