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US Logistics Support Vessels may be based in Singapore: US military

Colonel Eric Shirley, who is in charge of logistics operations in the United States Pacific Command, said final decisions are being made on stationing the vessels and how they will be maintained.

UPDATE: A spokesperson for the United States Army clarified on Friday (Feb 12), the day after this report was published, that there have been no discussions on the possibility of having Singapore as a regional hub for logistics support operations. "The US Army is not looking to build new bases in Singapore," the Director of Public Affairs for the US Army Pacific told Channel NewsAsia. Full report here.

HONOLULU: The United States may be sending some of its Logistics Support Vessels (LSVs) to be based in Singapore by late 2016 or early 2017, according to the US military.

Speaking to reporters from ASEAN at the Pacific Command camp in Honolulu, Hawaii on Thursday (Feb 11), Colonel Eric Shirley, a Support Operations Officer assigned to the US Army's 8th Theater Sustainment Command, said final decisions are being made on stationing the vessels and how they will be maintained.

He said: "Right now we are targeting Singapore as a potential future home that could best support the interest of the Pacific Command, and all the partner nations in the region. So, potentially we can see Logistics Support Vessels at a home base on a permanent or rotational basis, working with our existing infrastructure in Singapore. That's one of the options being considered for the future."

Colonel Eric Shirley says the US military is looking at Singapore as a potential future home for LSVs to support the interest of the United States Pacific Command and other partner nations in the region.

Posted by Channel NewsAsia on Thursday, February 11, 2016

The LSV is an army watercraft heavily used as a resource in moving personnel, equipment and supplies. Some of the vessels in the US Pacific Command have been deployed in humanitarian missions such as the Haiti earthquake in 2010.

Col Shirley added that the move by the United States military to deploy additional assets in Southeast Asia is to support US efforts in rebalancing the Asia-Pacific region, as well as improve the inter-operability between the US and Singapore militaries.

This includes support for engagement training, as well as support for people in the region in the event of a disaster, he said.

"Or broadly speaking, general military competence working between our national services," he added.

The possible deployment of the LSV is in addition to the US' plans to post four of its littoral combat ships to Singapore on a rotational basis. One of the ships, the USS Fort Worth, is on a 16-month deployment to Asia.