Australia's navy chief honoured for forging closer ties with Singapore counterpart

SINGAPORE - An Australian navy chief was honoured with a prestigious military award on Thursday for his work in improving ties between the Australian and Singaporean navies.

Get the full story from The Straits Times.

Here is a press release from the Ministry of Defence (Mindef):

The Chief of Navy of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), Vice-Admiral (VADM) Ray Griggs, was conferred Singapore's prestigious military award, the Pingat Jasa Gemilang (Tentera) [or the Meritorious Service Medal (Military)] by President Tony Tan Keng Yam. Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen presented the award to VADM Griggs at the Ministry of Defence this morning.

VADM Griggs is honoured for his significant contributions to forging closer ties between the RAN and the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN). VADM Griggs promoted closer cooperation between both navies in bilateral and multilateral exercises, including Exercise Singaroo, Exercise Kadaku, Exercise Pacific Reach, and exercises under the ambit of the Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA). VADM Griggs has also been instrumental in enhancing bilateral cooperation between the two navies in the areas of counter-piracy and submarine rescue, and had co-signed the bilateral arrangement for submarine rescue support and co-operation with Chief of Navy Rear-Admiral (RADM) Ng Chee Peng in 2013. This close cooperation has strengthened the professional rapport and camaraderie between the personnel of both navies.

On receiving the award, VADM Griggs said, "I am extremely humbled to have been honoured with the award of the Pingat Jasa Gemilang (Tentera). I wish to thank the people and the Government of Singapore for this recognition which underscores the close partnership between the RAN and the RSN. I have worked with the RSN throughout my career and watched the RSN and the SAF more generally with admiration as it has evolved into the highly capable force it is today. I look forward to a continued relationship with the SAF in my new role as Vice Chief of the Defence Force as we navigate these challenging times together."

The Singapore Armed Forces and the Australian Defence Force have a long history of military cooperation in the form of visits, professional exchanges, and the cross-attendance of courses. Australia and Singapore also interact multilaterally under the ambit of the FPDA and the ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting-Plus. These interactions have enhanced the close and longstanding defence relationship between the two countries.

VADM Griggs, who is in Singapore from 14 to 17 May 2014, had earlier called on Dr Ng and RADM Ng before the investiture. VADM Griggs also inspected a Guard-of-Honour contingent at the Ministry of Defence this morning.