The world's largest international maritime exercise, hosted by the United States Navy and taking place off the waters of Hawaii, reflects US efforts to be inclusive, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said in Honolulu yesterday.
Called Exercise Rim of the Pacific (Rimpac), it involves seven out of the 10 Asean countries, with Vietnam participating for the first time, noted Dr Ng, who is in the Hawaiian capital for a working visit.
The biennial warfare exercise - from June 28 to Aug 3 - involves 25,000 personnel, 45 ships, five submarines and about 200 aircraft from 25 countries.
Said Dr Ng: "This reflects the multilateralism, it reflects the US-led initiative to be inclusive, to bring as many countries as possible to collaborate and enhance interoperability."
The Republic of Singapore Navy has RSS Tenacious, a formidable-class frigate with an embarked Sikorsky S-70B Seahawk naval helicopter, taking part in Rimpac.
Dr Ng said there was "no shortage" of Singapore's navy personnel wanting to take part in the exercise, including national servicemen.
As part of his visit, which ends tomorrow, Dr Ng will also meet the commander of the US Indo-Pacific Command, Admiral Philip Davidson.