06 July 2016
From fighting pirates to leading two global giants in an exercise, the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) is showing its steel.
RSN led its counterparts from the United States and Japan in a group sail last month, reflecting a growing recognition of its capabilities, observers said.
An RSN frigate became the first ship from outside the US Navy (USN) to lead a multinational group sail to the Rim of the Pacific (Rimpac) Exercise, the world’s largest international maritime exercise.
It led two other warships – one from the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force and the other from the USN – in a sail from Okinawa to Hawaii. On the way, it coordinated helicopter operations, surface warfare drills, gunnery firings as well as manoeuvring and communications serials.
Being tasked to lead the group sail reflects “an affirmation of the skill that RSN brings to the table”, said Associate Professor Bernard Loo, a defence analyst at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS).
… Dr Collin Koh, a research fellow and maritime security analyst at RSIS, also agreed that the RSN’s leadership of the group sail showed it had earned its spurs through operations in the Gulf of Aden.
“They did not one day very randomly say, ‘I appoint this navy to be the leader of the multinational group sail’. The leading of the multinational sail is a symbol of Singapore navy’s growing outreach overseas.”
… Singapore’s leading the group sail also reflects that it can communicate and coordinate with the US and Japanese navies, said Dr Graham Ong-Webb, a research fellow with the Military Studies Programme at RSIS. Only certain navies can exercise effectively together because this requires compatible systems, he noted.
GPO / IDSS / Online / Print
Last updated on 07/07/2016