Singapore, US navies complete inaugural exercise off Guam

Singapore, US navies complete inaugural exercise off Guam

Exercise Pacific Griffin
The RSN and USN ships sailing in formation at Exercise Pacific Griffin off the coast of Guam. (Photo: MINDEF)

SINGAPORE: The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) and the United States Navy (USN) have completed the inaugural bilateral Exercise Pacific Griffin in the waters off Guam, the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) said on Monday (Sep 4).

The exercise which was held between Aug 19 and Sep 2 was part of ongoing efforts to explore new training spaces and opportunities for the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), MINDEF added.

"With the vast training space available in the waters off Guam, Exercise Pacific Griffin provided the RSN with the opportunity to conduct high-end exercises of substantial scope and complexity," said MINDEF in its press release.

"The exercise featured advanced warfare training between the RSN and USN, across the full-spectrum of anti-submarine, anti-surface and anti-air warfare."

Colonel Saw Shi Tat, Commander First Flotilla and Commanding Officer of 185 Squadron, highlighted the value of the exercise in enhancing professionalism and interoperability among the two navies.

He said: “The operating environment in Guam gave us the opportunity to hone our edge and push our operational envelopes. It also allowed us to operate with our friends and partners from around the world, including the USN.” 

Exercise Pacific Griffin
The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) personnel in a discussion with United States Navy (USN) personnel on board RSS Stalwart at Exercise Pacific Griffin 2017.

Underscoring the excellent and long-standing bilateral defence relationship, Commodore of the USN’s Destroyer Squadron 7 Captain Lex Walker said: “The US Navy deeply values our close partnership with the RSN.

"Exercise Pacific Griffin provides a unique opportunity for both navies to interact and engage in a broader and more complex range of maritime scenarios and operations."

He added: "The complexity and sophistication of Exercise Pacific Griffin is a direct result of the many accomplishments and lessons we’ve learned from working together with the RSN for many years."

Planning for Exercise Pacific Griffin - which involved more than 850 personnel from Singapore and the US - began in 2016.

Besides the frigates RSS Stalwart and RSS Supreme, the RSN also participated with an Endurance-class landing ship tank RSS Endurance. Naval assets from the USN included the littoral combat ship USS Coronado, Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Benfold and USNS Pecos, MINDEF said.

Supporting air assets included the USN’s P-8 Poseidon aircraft and Hawker Hunter fighter jets and a Republic of Singapore Air Force Sikorsky S-70B Seahawk naval helicopter embarked on RSS Supreme.

The RSN also took the opportunity to conduct unilateral live-firings on the sidelines of Exercise Pacific Griffin.

Source: CNA/nc