13th maritime exercise involving 7 navies to focus on piracy and terrorism

SINGAPORE - Sailors from the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN)'s Maritime Security Task Force are participating in an annual maritime exercise called Southeast Asia Cooperation And Training (SEACAT) with navies from Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and the United States.

The Exercise SEACAT series, which started in 2002, will see navies practicing maritime information-sharing and coordination of maritime security responses to seaborne threats such as piracy and terrorism from August 11 to 15.

Planning exercises will also take place at the Changi Command and Control (C2) Centre at Changi Naval Base (CNB).

The navies will also conduct drills involving the tracking of ships as well as the boarding of a merchant vessel simulated to be engaging in terrorist-related activities at sea.

"As maritime nations that depend on the free flow of commerce at sea, we share an interest in addressing these challenges and recognise that none of us has enough resources to do it alone," said Rear Adm. Charlie Williams, commander of the US 7th Fleet's Task Force 73 and executive agent for SEACAT, who delivered opening remarks at CNB.

The RSN will be sending an Accompanying Sea Security Team (ASSET) and patrol vessel for the exercise. Patrol boats from the Singapore Police Coast Guard and a maritime patrol aircraft from the Republic of Singapore Air Force will also be involved.