Singapore, US navies conclude exercise in waters off Guam

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Benfold (DDG 65) during Exercise Pacific Griffin 2017, off the coast of Guam, on Aug 28, 2017.
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Benfold (DDG 65) during Exercise Pacific Griffin 2017, off the coast of Guam, on Aug 28, 2017.PHOTO: BENJAMIN A. LEWIS

The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) and the United States Navy have concluded the first Exercise Pacific Griffin in waters off Guam, the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) said in a statement yesterday.

It said the exercise, held from Aug 19 to Sept 2, allowed the RSN to conduct high-end exercises of substantial complexity in the vast waters of Guam and was part of efforts by the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) to explore new training spaces.

Planning for the exercise, which involved over 850 personnel from both countries, began last year.

The scheduled exercise, however, ended up taking place against a backdrop of heightened tensions in Guam, due to recent threats from North Korea.

The RSN took part with frigates RSS Stalwart and RSS Supreme, and Endurance-class landing ship tank RSS Endurance.

Exercise Pacific Griffin featured advanced warfare training between the two navies, comprising anti-submarine, anti-surface and anti-air warfare operations.

The RSN also conducted its own live-firings at the venue.

Colonel Saw Shi Tat, Commander of the First Flotilla and Commanding Officer of 185 Squadron, said: "The operating environment in Guam gave us the opportunity to hone our edge and push our operational envelopes. It also allowed us to operate with our friends and partners from around the world, including the USN."

Commodore of the US Navy's Destroyer Squadron 7, Captain Lex Walker, said the exercise provided a unique opportunity for both navies to interact.

"The complexity and sophistication of Exercise Pacific Griffin is a direct result of the many accomplishments and lessons we've learnt from working together with the RSN for many years."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 05, 2017, with the headline 'S'pore, US navies conclude exercise in waters off Guam'. Print Edition | Subscribe