A major maritime security field training exercise organised by Singapore and South Korea will start tomorrow.
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.
The Ministry of Defence (Mindef) said the exercise, which will end 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 yesterday for the exercise.
Rear-Admiral Lee Seong-yeol, South Korean navy commander, maritime battle group 3, will officiate at the opening ceremony in Busan, South Korea.
Exercise co-directors - Rear-Admiral Edwin Leong, RSN head of naval operations, and Rear-Admiral Hwang Sun-woo, South Korean navy director, maritime operations centre - will also be at the ceremony, along with representatives from the ADMM-Plus navies.
In the news statement yesterday, Mindef described the exercise as the culmination of Singapore and South Korea's co-chairmanship of the ADMM-Plus Experts' Working Group on Maritime Security from 2017 to 2020.
"Under their co-chairmanship, the ADMM-Plus navies agreed in November 2017 to adopt and practise the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea, a confidence-building measure that enhances maritime safety by reducing misunderstandings and preventing miscalculations at sea," Mindef said.
Last June, Singapore and South Korea conducted the Future Leaders' Programme 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.