The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) participated in the multilateral Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (SEACAT), an annual exercise conducted by the United States Navy (USN), which took place from 14 to 25 August 2023. This year’s Exercise SEACAT saw participants from Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Canada, France, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Maldives, New Zealand, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, United Kingdom, United States, and Vietnam coming together to enhance cooperation and information-sharing to strengthen regional responses against maritime security threats.
For this year’s Exercise SEACAT, there was a three-day maritime security seminar, workshops on Vessel Board Search and Seizure (VBSS) and Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), and a week-long sea phase. The seminar and workshops provided a platform for subject matter experts and participants to discuss and exchange best practices to deal with maritime security threats in the region. During the maritime security seminar, the RSN’s Information Fusion Centre (IFC) provided updates on key developments on the regional maritime security situation. Personnel from the RSN’s Naval Diving Unit and Eighth Flotilla also attended the workshops on VBSS and UAS respectively.
The exercise headquarters for the sea phase was set up at the Changi Command and Control Centre (CC2C) in RSS Singapura – Changi Naval Base. There, the IFC and its attached International Liaison Officers worked together with participants from the various countries to sense-make real-time updates on the regional maritime picture to identify vessels of interest in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore and the South China Sea. The operations centres from the participating navies and coast guards were then cued to deploy aircraft and ships to investigate potential threats, and carry out relevant operational responses to neutralise them. These efforts helped to strengthen collaborative efforts in countering maritime security threats in the region.
First established in 2002, the exercise is in its 22nd edition. The RSN’s continued participation in SEACAT reflects its strong support for practical cooperation in maritime security and continued engagement efforts with navies and coast guards from the region and across the world.
Source : MINDEF