US Navy leader meets S'pore Defence Minister during 2-day visit here

US Secretary of the Navy Kenneth Braithwaite met Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen on Friday and reaffirmed the excellent and long-standing bilateral defence relationship between the two countries, said the Ministry of Defence (Mindef).

The two leaders also discussed regional security issues and ways to strengthen navy-to-navy cooperation under the recently renewed 1990 Memorandum of Understanding Regarding United States Use of Facilities in Singapore.

Mr Braithwaite, the US Navy's top civilian leader who was appointed in May, was on a two-day introductory visit to Singapore as part of his trip to the Asia-Pacific region.

He had earlier met US sailors at the Yokosuka Naval Base and called on Japanese Defence Minister Nobuo Kishi in Tokyo. He is also scheduled to visit Guam and Palau.

As part of his Singapore visit, Mr Braithwaite also met Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant-General Melvyn Ong, said Mindef in a statement on Friday. Mr Braithwaite also visited Changi Naval Base.

His visit highlights the strong partnership between the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) and the US Navy, said Mindef, adding that health checks and other safety measures were taken by the visiting delegation.

Both navies interact regularly through bilateral and multilateral exercises, cross-attendance of courses, and other professional exchanges.

Most recently in August, the RSN participated in the multilateral Rim of the Pacific Exercise, hosted by the US Navy and held in the waters off Hawaii, said Mindef.

"These interactions strengthen the interoperability and cooperation, as well as bolster mutual understanding between the two navies," it added.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 18, 2020, with the headline 'US Navy leader meets S'pore Defence Minister during 2-day visit here'. Print Edition | Subscribe