SINGAPORE: The United States Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford was on Friday (Jun 2) conferred Singapore’s highest military award, the Darjah Utama Bakti Cemerlang (Tentera) or Distinguished Service Order (Military), by President Tony Tan Keng Yam at the Istana.
General Dunford was conferred the award for his contributions in enhancing relations between the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and the US Armed Forces, a media release from the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) said.
"Under his leadership, both militaries have made significant strides in initiatives under the 2005 Strategic Framework Agreement and the 2015 enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement.
"The SAF and the US Armed Forces have built upon their long history of bilateral cooperation to pursue new initiatives in non-conventional security areas, including humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, cyber defence and biosecurity," MINDEF added.
The Singapore and US militaries have worked together in multinational coalition efforts, including ongoing efforts to defeat Islamic State in the Middle East and counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden.
MINDEF said these interactions have enhanced interoperability, mutual understanding and personal friendship between both armed forces.
Guests at the investiture included Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen, Second Minister for Defence Ong Ye Kung, Senior Minister of State for Defence Mohamad Maliki Osman, Permanent Secretary for Defence Chan Yeng Kit, Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant-General Perry Lim, as well as senior government officials and military officers from Singapore and the US.
General Dunford, who is in Singapore till Sunday, also called on Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Friday afternoon. As part of his programme, he will also call on Dr Ng on Saturday, and attend the Shangri-La Dialogue.