Co-operation among navies key to maritime security: President Tony Tan
SINGAPORE No one country can manage the growing range of complex transnational threats on its own, and multilateral co-operation is the key to ensuring maritime security, President Tony Tan said on Monday (May 15). He was presiding over Singapore s inaugural international maritime review, which saw delegates from 44 countries and 46 warships taking part in the event part of the celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN). More than 30 navy chiefs and deputies, and coast guard director-generals from 44 countries were present, along with navy ships from Australia, China, Japan, Russia, the United States, and others.
Speaking at the Changi Naval Base, which hosts more than 100 foreign warships a year, Dr Tan said that the gathering of navies for this inaugural event is a testament to the strong friendships and extensive network Singapore enjoys across the world . He added: To ensure a stable maritime order, as well as safe and secure seas, multilateral co-operation is key. The RSN has built up a strong and well-connected network of partnerships with like-minded navies. He pointed to RSN s collaboration with other navies, such as combating piracy in the Malacca Strait, and its involvement in bilateral exercises, as well as international search and rescue operations, such as the ones for AirAsia flight QZ8501 in 2015.
The RSN s stealth frigates and Landing Ships Tank have participated in multinational counter-piracy task forces, including the Combined Task Force (CTF) 151 in the Gulf of Aden the RSN has taken command of CTF 151 four times, leading key partners in contributing to global maritime security, he said.
(Click on graphic to expand: Warships berthed at RSS Singapura-Changi Naval Base participating in the International Maritime Review. Graphic: Ministry of Defence)
At the event, Dr Tan renamed Changi Naval Base to RSS Singapura – Changi Naval Base, in tribute to the RSN s heritage and role in defending Singapore s sea lines of communication. He added: RSS Singapura was the name of RSN s first headquarters. Naming Changi Naval Base as RSS Singapura Changi Naval Base will serve as a reminder to our sailors of RSN s heritage and the RSN s vital role in defending Singapore. Dr Tan also said: As a maritime nation in a maritime region, Singapore s security and success are all the more inextricably linked to the sea. We rely on freedom of access to the sea for economic prosperity and progress. In this regard, the role of the RSN is critical to Singapore s survival as a nation.
After his speech, he inspected several visiting warships berthed at the naval base. He later boarded the RSS Independence the latest RSN warship that was commissioned on May 5 to inspect the other warships taking part in the maritime review and are anchored off the Singapore Strait.
(Click on graphic to expand: Warships anchored at the Singapore Strait off RSS Singapura-Changi Naval Base participating in the International Maritime Review. Graphic: Ministry of Defence)