The Asia Pacific region is inherently maritime by nature. In a broader maritime context, countries across the world are showing greater awareness of their interests in the oceans and seas. Maritime developments in the Asia Pacific feature contestations between the great powers and unilateral responses to competing maritime interests. An inclusive maritime region founded upon international rules and norms lay the foundation for safe and secure seas, which is crucial for the region’s continued growth and prosperity.

As such, the theme of the Conference — “Safe and Secure Seas: Mutual Security in Our Maritime Commons” — underlines the importance of an open and inclusive regional security architecture, strengthening collaborative partnerships and maintaining a rules-based maritime order. This endeavor not only allows Asia Pacific countries to deal with common maritime challenges but also promotes mutual security, such that countries do not pursue their national maritime interests at the expense of others’ security needs.

It is through such an approach that Asia Pacific countries are better positioned to pool together their collective strengths to effectively address existing and emerging challenges threatening the maritime commons. It also helps promote better mutual understanding of and empathy for one another’s national security predicaments, thus helping to build and rebuild confidence and trust towards preserving a peaceful and stable Asia Pacific maritime domain.

The conference will also invite academics to share their assessment on whether the current rules-based maritime order is under threat, and consider ways to maintain its integrity.

Conference Programme
Opening Remarks
Rear Admiral Lew Chuen Hong
Chief of Navy, Republic of Singapore Navy
Session 1: Assessing the Current Rules-based Maritime Order
Ambassador Ong Keng Yong
Executive Deputy Chairman, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
Professor Tommy Koh
Ambassador-at-Large, Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Rear Admiral Dr Amarulla Octavian
Commandant, Indonesian Navy Command and Staff College
Captain (Retd) Tian Shichen
Research Fellow, Collaborative Innovation Center of South China Sea Studies, Nanjing University
Session 2: Maintaining Peace in our Maritime Commons
Professor Geoffrey Till
Advisor, Maritime Security Programme, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
Vice Admiral Michael Noonan
Chief of Navy, Royal Australian Navy
First Admiral Haji Othman bin Haji Suhaili
Commander, Royal Brunei Navy
Vice Admiral Andreas Krause
Chief of Navy, German Navy
Admiral Hiroshi Yamamura
Chief of Staff, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force
Session 3: Strengthening Cooperation, Engendering Trust
Professor Tan See Seng
Deputy Director and Head of Research, Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies
S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
Rear Admiral Torben Mikkelsen
Admiral Danish Fleet, Royal Danish Navy
Rear Admiral David Proctor
Chief of Navy, Royal New Zealand Navy
Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad
Flag Officer in Command, Philippine Navy
Closing Session
Admiral John Richardson
Chief of Naval Operations, United States Navy
Professor Geoffrey Till
Advisor, Maritime Security Programme, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
Round-up Remarks
Ambassador Ong Keng Yong
Executive Deputy Chairman, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies

Programme is subjected to changes.
About the Speakers
Rear Admiral Torben Mikkelsen
Rear Admiral Torben Mikkelsen, K.1., Ht.S., Ht.B., Fsv. M.I.T 1948-2009, Fsv. M.IT*
Admiral Danish Fleet

Educated in Viborg Secondary School, Torben Mikkelsen completed his National Service within the ranks of the Danish Army’s Zealand Life Regiment.

Joining the Royal Danish Navy in 1984 as a midshipman he was commissioned as a Lieutenant from the Royal Danish Naval Academy in 1987.

As a junior officer he served primarily on board the corvettes of the NIELS JUEL-class and qualified here as Navigational Officer and subsequently as Principal Warfare Officer. He was promoted to Lieutenant Commander in 1992. He saw service in the Baltic Sea where he participated as an Executive Officer on board the patrol vessel HDMS P554 MAKRELEN in the search and rescue operation surrounding the sinking of the Polish ferry M/S Jan Hewliusz. The crew of HDMS MAKRELEN was honoured by the Polish Government with the Polish Order of Self-sacrifice and Courage. Torben Mikkelsen also saw service on board corvettes during Operation Sharp Guard in 1994 in the Adriatic Sea.

Upon returning to Danish waters he was privileged to be given command of the patrol vessel HDMS P552 HAVKATTEN (ASW).

Completing Maritime Courses in Canada and the United Kingdom he was selected to Senior Staff Course at the Danish Defense Academy and subsequently promoted to Commander.

Shore appointments at the Danish Defense Commands Personel Branch followed his promotion before he returned to operational duty at the Danish Task Group as Staff Operations Officer and afterwards as Chief of Staff.

Torben Mikkelsen was selected to become Division (21) Commander and promoted to Commander, senior grade upon assuming command of the corvette HDMS F356 PETER TORDENSKIOLD.

He was appointed Knight of the Order of Dannebrog in 2006 and appointed to Knight of the Order of Dannebrog, 1st degree four years later. In 2018 he was appointed Commander of the Order of Dannebrog.

After completing the Naval Command Course at United States Naval War College he returned to the Danish Defence Command J3 and J32 branch. He served a short period at the Admiral Danish Fleet Headquarters as Assistant Chief of Staff, Operations and Logistics during which he was promoted to Captain (N). During 2010-13 he served as Chief for the Excecutive Office at the Defence Command.

Torben Mikkelsen was selected to become Commander, 2. (DNK) Squadron. During his service he was appointed Commander Task Group 420.01 with the task of removing of chemical agents from Syria in 2014 (OPRECSYR).

Following duty as Commander, 2. Squadron, Torben Mikkelsen was assigned as Commander, Danish Task Group and promoted to Commodore. He was appointed Commander, Task Group 1100.01, to remove chemical agents from Libya (OPRECLIB).

Promoted to Rear Admiral, he assumed the duties and responsibilities as Chief of Danish Naval Staff on 1 June 2017 – as of 1 January 2019 Admiral Danish Fleet, Royal Danish Navy Command.

Torben Mikkelsen and his wife Kirsten have two twin sons, and live between the hills and forests in the northeastern part of Zealand.

During his spare time he enjoys riding motor cycles and motocross bikes, racing on tracks and fields throughout Europe.

Admiral John M. Richardson
Admiral John M. Richardson
Chief of Naval Operations, United States Navy

Admiral John Richardson graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1982 with a Bachelor of Science in Physics.  He holds master’s degrees in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and National Security Strategy from the National War College.

At sea, Richardson served on USS Parche (SSN 683), USS George C. Marshall (SSBN 654) and USS Salt Lake City (SSN 716).  He commanded USS Honolulu (SSN 718) in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Richardson also served as commodore of Submarine Development Squadron (DEVRON) 12; commander, Submarine Group 8; commander, Submarine Allied Naval Forces South; deputy commander, U.S. 6th Fleet; chief of staff, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and U.S. Naval Forces Africa; commander, Naval Submarine Forces, and director of Naval Reactors.

His staff assignments include duty in the attack submarine division on the Chief of Naval Operations staff; naval aide to the President; prospective commanding officer instructor for Commander, Submarine Forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet; assistant deputy director for Regional Operations on the Joint Staff; and director of Strategy and Policy at U.S. Joint Forces Command.

Richardson served on teams that have been awarded the Presidential Unit Citation, the Joint Meritorious Unit Award, the Navy Unit Commendation, and the Navy “E” Ribbon.  He was awarded the Vice Admiral Stockdale Award for his time in command of USS Honolulu.

Richardson began serving as the 31st Chief of Naval Operations September 18, 2015.

Vice Admiral Michael Noonan, AO, RAN
Vice Admiral Michael Noonan, AO, RAN
Chief of Navy Australia

Vice Admiral Michael Noonan, AO, RAN joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1984, trained as a seaman officer and then subsequently completed Principal Warfare Officers course and specialised in Air Direction and Above Water Warfare.

Throughout his career, he had experience in a wide range of Navy and ADF operations through various sea and shore posting and operational roles. Highlights have included deployments to the Middle East, Southern Ocean and being the Commissioning Commanding Officer of the ANZAC class frigate HMAS Parramatta.

He has fulfilled leadership positions at all levels of the Australian Defence Force, with senior positions including the Director of Military Strategic Commitments, Director General of Operations at HQJOC, Command of Maritime Border Command and Deputy Chief of Navy.

In June 2018, he was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Australia in recognition of his distinguished service in significant senior ADF command roles.

Vice Admiral Noonan assumed command of the Royal Australian Navy on
7 July 2018 and is the 32nd professional head of the Australian Navy, and the 9th officer to hold the title of Chief of Navy Australia. In this role, he is entrusted by Government to be its principal naval advisor, and to raise, train and sustain Australia’s naval forces to execute maritime missions in a dynamic region.

He is married to Jan, also a serving naval officer, and they have two daughters.

Rear Admiral David Proctor
Rear Admiral David Proctor
Chief of Navy New Zealand

Rear Admiral David Proctor was born in Napier, New Zealand. He joined the Royal New Zealand Navy as a Midshipman in January 1987.

Rear Admiral Proctor has held a number of senior logistics posts during his career, including operational logistics appointments at sea and overseas. He has significant procurement and commercial experience working with industry to deliver support for military outcomes. His operational service includes deployment to the Solomon Islands and being deployed as the Chief of Logistics, United Nations Mission in Support of East Timor. He was also the New Zealand Senior National Officer during this deployment.

In a staff capacity, Rear Admiral Proctor’s early shore based appointments were primarily in the Human Resources arena. He was awarded the inaugural Deputy Chief of Navy Commendation for his performance as Deputy Director Naval Personnel Services. This role was responsible for drafting and oversighting the implementation of navy personnel policy and contributing to the development of NZDF strategic personnel policy. In 2000-01 he was the Acting Support Branch Personnel Officer responsible for delivering strategic human resource outcomes in the RNZN’s support branch, including posting and career management of ratings. Rear Admiral Proctor has recent staff experience in capability development and delivery, having been appointed as Deputy Assistant Chief of Capability and Director Capability Portfolio Planning in 2013-14.

Promoted to Commodore and appointed Commander Logistics in December 2015, in March 2017 he was posted at short notice as Chief of Defence Strategy and Governance. This appointment saw him as a member of the NZDF Executive and as a permanent advisor to the NZDF Board.

Rear Admiral Proctor assumed the role of Deputy Commander Joint Force New Zealand in February 2018, and then Chief of Navy in November 2018.

Rear Admiral Proctor has a Masters in Management (Defence Studies), a Masters in Politics and Policy, and is a fellow of the Centre for Defence Strategic Studies. He is a member of the Kapiti Branch of the RNZRSA and is a member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors.

David is married to Wendy Proctor. They have two children Joshua (in the RNZAF) and Emma (Otago University – Bachelor of Physical Education).

Vice Admiral Andreas Krause
Vice Admiral Andreas Krause
Inspector of the German Navy

Date of Birth 11 October 1956

1976 – Joined the Navy

1977 – 1980 Diploma in Education, Bundeswehr University

1981 – 1986 Watch Officer aboard submarines

1986 – 1989 Commanding Officer, Submarine U 22

1989 – 1990 Tactical Officer Training for Maritime Operations (Advanced Antisubmarine Warfare Training Course)

1990 – 1992 32nd Admiral Staff Officer Course, Bundeswehr Command and Staff College, Hamburg

1992 – 1993 Operational Planning Officer, Submarine Flotilla (A31)

1993 – 1996 Tours of duty in Naval Staff and in Armed Forces Staff (Federal Ministry of Defence, Bonn)

1996 – 1999 Commander, Submarine Training Centre, Kiel

1999 – 2001 Chief of Branch, Joint Headquarters North East, Karup

2001 – 2003 Chief of Branch, Naval Staff, Bonn

2003 – 2004 Assistant Branch Chief, Armed Forces Staff, Operational C2 (Division V), Federal Ministry of Defence, Bonn

2004 – 2006 Deputy Chief of Naval Staff, Concepts, Planning and C2 (Division III), Federal Ministry of Defence, Bonn

2006 – 2008 Commander, Flotilla 1, Kiel

2008 – 2009 Deputy Commander German Fleet, Fleet Command, Gluecksburg

2009 – 2012 Director Joint Operations Staff, Ministry of Defence, Berlin

2012 – 2013 Deputy Commander Allied Maritime Command, Naples

2013 – 2014 Vice Chief German Navy, German Navy Headquarters, Rostock

since 11 / 2014 Chief German Navy, German Navy Headquarters, Rostock