The Singapore and United States navies launched their joint maritime warfare exercise yesterday.
About 1,400 soldiers and several battleships, submarines and aircraft from the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) and the US Navy and Marine Corps began a 12-day joint exercise.
The 21st annual Singapore-US Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (Carat) exercise aims to sharpen conventional maritime warfare capabilities, such as anti-air, anti-surface and anti-submarine operations. It also aims to enhance cooperation between Singapore and US armed forces.
RSN Fleet commander Lew Chuen Hong and the US Navy's Commander Logistics Group Western Pacific Charles Williams were both at the opening ceremony at Changi Naval Base yesterday morning. For the first time, both navies will launch their Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) systems for conventional maritime warfare operations. The RSN will deploy its ScanEagle UAV from the decks of missile corvettes RSS Vigour and RSS Valour, while the US Navy's FireScout UAV will be launched from the Freedom-class littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth.
Rear-Admiral Lew said the joint exercise has provided both navies with "invaluable training and enhanced interoperability". "I believe that it is this close friendship and deep mutual understanding that form the basis of trust."
Rear-Admiral Williams said that Exercise Carat, which started in 1995, reflected the maturity of this relationship.