ASEAN (and ADMM Plus) Military Exercises


Super Moderator
Staff member

The ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting (ADMM) is the meeting of the 10 Defence Ministers from ASEAN, plus 8 other powers. ADMM was inaugurated on 9 May 2006 in Kuala Lumpur; and the 8 other powers are namely, the US, China, Russia, Japan, India, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. In May 2011, ASEAN approved the establishment of Expert Working Groups (EWGs) comprising of an ASEAN member with an ADMM Plus member as co-chairs on various topics. These EWGs (with the each co-chair serving a term of a minimum of 2 years and a maximum of 3 years) include:-

(i) maritime security (1st cycle: Australia and Malaysia; and 2nd cycle: Brunei and New Zealand);

(ii) humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (1st cycle: China and Vietnam; and 2nd cycle: Laos and Japan);

(iii) counter-terrorism (1st cycle: US and Indonesia; and 2nd cycle: Singapore and Australia);

(iv) military medicine (1st cycle: Japan and Singapore; and 2nd cycle: Thailand and Russia);

(v) peacekeeping operations (1st cycle: Philippines and New Zealand; and 2nd cycle: Cambodia and Republic of Korea); and

(vi) humanitarian mine action (Initial cycle for new EWG: Vietnam and India).​

The EWG could be dissolved when the ADMM-Plus assesses that the task of that particular EWG is completed. New EWGs shall be formed with the approval of ADMM-Plus (whose meetings is now held every 2 years) or the ASEAN Defence Senior Officials’ Meeting-Plus (ASOM-Plus), for the intervening years.

On 9 June 2013, Brunei's Deputy Minister of Defence said that the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) had laid the necessary groundwork to ensure the success of the drill. Planning conferences were held between member countries over the past year, where milestones were reached in the organisation of the HADR and MM exercise. "Everything is settled. Now it's a matter of waiting for the equipment and personnel to arrive," said Dato Paduka Hj Mustappa Hj Sirat. The multinational drill, he explained, will illustrate the interoperability of the participating armed forces and allow facets of defence diplomacy to play out. "I think this is very important. Not only do we want to show our interoperability, but more importantly the spirit of goodwill, cooperation and friendship. This is what we want to convey to the world: what the ADMM-Plus can do in terms of working together in military operations," he said.

ASEAN Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Exercise

In July 2011, the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and the Indonesian National Defence Forces (TNI) co-hosted the inaugural ASEAN Militaries' Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Table-Top Exercise (AHX) in Singapore and Indonesia from 12 to 14 Jul 2011. Over 100 personnel from ASEAN militaries participated in the three-day exercise. In the first two days of the exercise, workshops and a scenario-based table-top exercise was held at the Changi C2 Centre. On the third day, an exercise was held in West Java that featured helicopter-evacuation simulation involving assets from the SAF and the TNI.

On 7 May 2013, Brunei hosted the 7th ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting (see the Joint Declaration by 7th ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting). The Ministers also noted the strong commitment from the ASEAN participants to the conduct of the 2nd ASEAN Militaries' Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) Exercise (AHX), which will be co-hosted by Singapore and Brunei on 16 June 2013. They also expressed strong support for the inaugural ADMM-Plus HADR and Military Medicine (MM) Exercise. These exercises underscore the progress that ADMM and ADMM-Plus have made in enhancing practical cooperation amongst the militaries in addressing non-traditional security challenges. The ADMM-Plus HADR/MM Exercise will be held in Brunei from 17 to 20 June 2013.
Below, two Japanese C-130s transporting 28 crew members and 6 passengers. On board the transport aircraft were two vehicles carrying medical equipment and logistics support for the Japanese UH-1 to be used in the exercise.

“In most disasters, most countries will actually deploy on their own and work on their own,” said Royal Brunei Armed Forces Lt. Col. Dr. Mohd Hafizul Hassan, who is the chief medical officer for RBAF. “What we are trying to do at the moment is to try to get countries to work together to provide services to the needed nation who are facing the disaster.”

“There have been tremendous planning efforts going into this exercise,” said U.S. Army Col. Steven Toft, the senior U.S. medical representative and deputy command surgeon for USPACOM. According to Toft, the exercise took more than three years to plan and is the first of its kind, integrating multilateral training and engagements with the ASEAN-Plus countries.

The need for the training came about due largely in part to the frequency of natural disasters that occur in the region. Analysts say the Asia-Pacific is the world’s disaster hotspot, with someone in the region 25 times more likely to be affected by a natural disaster than someone in Europe or North America, according to the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.

[nomedia=""]ADMM_FIT preparations under way - YouTube[/nomedia]

The exercise is conducted under the ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting - Plus grouping, which involves the 10 ASEAN countries, along with the "Plus" countries Australia, China, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Russia and the United States. For pictures and more details see also this Borneo Bulletin report. On 12 June 2013, the HADR and MM exercise participants were trained at the Multinational Coordination Centre (MNCC) on the use of the system called Opera.

Opera is a web-based computer application designed for use in Human Assistance Disaster Relief (HADR) operations as a Command and Control Information System (CCIS). A CCIS enables data communication and information sharing between operation centre and unit deployed to the incident area. It can be used for military operations, civil-military collaboration, multi-agency and multinational deployment. All you need is an user account and a connection to the internet to utilize the web-based application.

The Opera system is developed for the SAF, and has been in use for several HADR deployments previously. The Opera system:

a. provides a Common Operational Picture (COP) so as to maintain situational awareness of the troops/units deployed to the incident area. It can use the google earth or any other map template to indicate the location of each unit.
b. provides planning tools (to assign assets, allocate manpower, divide areas of responsibility and so on)
c. provides collaboration tools like email and a chat function;
d. contains a knowledge repository (where manuals or SOPs can be load into the system for easy access);
e. provides access to news and events, this information can be up loaded into the system for planning;
f. contains a contact list; and
g. provides the weather forecast.​

The Opera system allows for a COP at the MNCC during the conduct of exercise.

Thursday 13 June 2013 - This morning an exclusive interview was held with the Deputy Head of the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) Contingent for the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus) Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief and Military Medicine Exercise (HADR & MM Ex), Senior Colonel Wu Xihua, the Deputy Chief of the Emergency Office, General Staff HQs, PLA.

In the interview, Senior Colonel Wu Xihua confirmed that in supporting the ADMM Plus multinational exercise, the PRC contingent has sent 110 personnel that are grouped into various teams, namely, 50-person engineering team, a 35-person medical team, and 25 command and staff officers. The Senior Colonel also confirmed that the list of equipment contributed by PRC includes mechanized bridge vehicles, medical cabin vehicles, other large engineering and medical equipment. Other special equipment includes water purification, lifesaving and epidemic prevention units...

During the interview, Senior Colonel Wu Xinhua also praised the tremendous effort made by the host nation, Brunei Darussalam, into organizing this multi-national joint exercise and commended on the professionalism and dedication of the host. Senior Colonel Wu Xinhua also took the opportunity to express PRC appreciation and congratulation to the host; and also highlighted that PRC has been engaged in the whole preparation process for the multinational exercise and assured that PRC will continue to provide support to Brunei Darussalam. In addition to this, he stated that PRC has also cooperated closely and forged a very good working relationship with other participants in the exercise. He also stated that to be part of this joint exercise it demonstrates PRC active participation in regional security cooperation. He also stated that PRC remain hopeful in improving China’s capability in non-war operations through this HADR & MM exercise, and at the same time to promote pragmatic cooperation between PRC, and other member countries of the ADMM Plus mechanism...


Below, participants from the military forces of Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand taking part in a heli-casualty evacuation drill, with a Brunei Air Force Blackhawk in the background.

Quick Facts about host country of the 2013 ADMM Plus HADR & MM exercise: Brunei

Population.......................................: 388,190
Ranked No. 10 by population in ASEAN

Total Fertility Rate (CIA Factbook).: 1.85 (No. 149 out of 223)
2012 Corruption Perception Index ..: 55 out of 100 -- No. 46 in CPI
Literacy rate (and Life Expectancy)...: 95% (77 years) (World Bank data)
Ease of doing business index 2013.: No. 79 of 185
2011 Moody's Credit Rating (Outlook): No credit rating assigned

2012 GDP .......................................: US$16.5 billion (IMF data)

No. of Troops (active/reserve)..........: 7,000 (active) and 700 (reserves)

*Defence Spending as a % of GDP ...: Between a low of 2.5% to a high of 7.5% (from 1996 to 2011)
*2011 Defence Spending...................: US$373 million (at constant 2010 prices)
*2006 Defence Spending...................: US$357 million (at constant 2010 prices)
*2001 Defence Spending...................: US$299 million (at constant 2010 prices)
*1996 Defence Spending...................: US$366 million (at constant 2010 prices)

Note: *2011 Defence spending data from SIPRI
Last edited:


Super Moderator
Staff member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #2
13 Jun 2013 -- The SAF will be participating in the ADMM-Plus Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) / Military Medicine (MM) Exercise in Brunei from 17 to 20 June 2013. Leading up to the exercise, all participating countries are presently involved in a Force Integration Training phase from 10 to 16 June 2013 which will involve symposiums, professional exchanges, area orientation, task familiarisation and cohesion activities.

The SAF will be participating with 340 personnel, RSS Endurance, four Super Puma helicopters as well as military medical and combat engineer assets. The SAF contingent is led by Director Joint Operations Brigadier-General (BG) Ngien Hoon Ping. BG Ngien expressed confidence that the ADMM-Plus HADR/MM Exercise will enhance inter-operability between the ADMM-Plus militaries in a HADR scenario. "The SAF is looking forward to contribute to the exercise in a meaningful way. The exercise will also foster confidence and enhance military-to-military relations across all levels," said BG Ngien.

Chief of the Singapore Armed Forces Medical Corps Colonel (Dr.) Kang Wee Lee giving a welcome speech at a medical symposium. The symposium is part of the ADMM-Plus HADR/MM Exercise.

“We have worked very closely with our host and partner nations to prepare for this exercise,” said SAF Col. (Dr.) Kang Wee Lee. “Our aim is to familiarize each other with our procedures and to establish a common operating language so that when we translate into operations we will work together smoothly. While most of us are doctors, nurses and medics, there are still differences in the way we execute. This training exercise is the culmination of a three-year work-up plan to bring all of the military medicine establishments from all the member countries together to train. The importance of what we are doing during this exercise is crucial to saving lives in this region, as it is most prone to natural disasters.”

Participants from Japan (left) and Vietnam conversing during the symposium.

(Foreground) Medical personnel from the Thai army at the symposium.

ASEAN and non-ASEAN members will work together on a simulated disaster relief effort. The focus will be on a post-tropical revolving storm (TRS) typhoon rescue, survey, recovery and disaster relief in the vicinity of the District of Temburong, as well as other locations in Bandar Seri Begawan, Muara Naval Base and Rimba Air Force Base. “The reality of the Pacific region for those who live here is that you are more likely to experience a disaster, said US Marine Col. Douglas Pasnik, the US military exercise officer in charge. “In this exercise, there is going to be a simulated typhoon that rolls through the area. A multinational force will come together and provide assistance in things that accompany a disaster of that sort including flooding and lack of water.” The multinational force includes participants from the ASEAN-comprised nations of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar (Burma), Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam; and other Asia-Pacific nations of Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Russia and the US. For more information on this exercise, see this US link.

(From left) Participants from Brunei, Malaysia, United States and China taking a group photo during field training for medical teams.

"The ASEAN HA/DR and military medicine exercise is an excellent opportunity to develop effective solutions to common security challenges, advance military-to-military relationships, and build upon international partner relationships while exercising the diverse capabilities of U.S. forces,” said US Marine Lt. Gen. Terry G. Robling, the commanding general of U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific. “This exercise portion also marks the first time China and the (U.S. Marine Corps) will conduct combined training in humanitarian assistance and military medicine."

Medical troops from different countries gathering for a group photo.

13 June 2013 -- Participants of the multinational Humanitarian and Disaster Relief (HADR) exercise were involved in an air evacuation exercise whereby the participants conducted the preparation of casualty for helicopter casevac (casualty evacuation), loading and unloading of casualties, securing of patients on the aircraft, the provision of medical support during transfer and winching procedures. A live training was also conducted in the afternoon with live descents from a Bell 212 helicopter. The objective of the training is to fully prepare the Thai SAR team and Royal Brunei Air Force’s Parachute Airborne Tactical Delivery Unit (PATDU) for their Multi-Rope Abseilling (MRA) helicopter drills for the upcoming multinational Humanitarian and Disaster Relief (HADR) exercise.

Both the training sessions and practical exercises serve to provide the necessary preparation needed to conduct the HADR exercise efficiently and safely.

Earlier in the day, the Medical Force Integration Training (FIT) continues with a Table Top exercise (TTX), exercise overview briefings and practical sessions held in the morning at Dewan Pahlawan, Berakas Garrison. The FIT programme started off with the TTX held at the Rimba Camp.

The exercise overview briefings focused on the structure, sites and scenarios for the upcoming exercises whereas the practical sessions covered field communications, prioritising casualties (Triage) and Medical Simulation. The objectives of the training sessions are to familiarise the participants to have a standardised approach to the exercise and to build rapport amongst the participants. The field communication session focuses on the use of radio communication equipment by the application of proper voice procedures. Moreover, the Triage and Medical Simulation session involved triaging, the use of simulation tags and a casualty demonstration. Most importantly, all the participants had the opportunity to set up the Drash (Deployable Rapid Assembly Shelter), a vital piece of equipment.
Last edited:


Super Moderator
Staff member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #3

The ADMM-Plus HADR Exercise will be held back-to-back, with the ADMM-Plus MM Exercise slated for 16 June 2013. Both exercises are the major deliverables during the Brunei ADMM and ADMM-Plus Chairmanship, this year (with Myanmar and Malaysia taking the rotating role of Chairman in 2014 and 2015, respectively). The military-to-military cooperation exercise is designed to formulate and develop a common set of Standing Operating Procedures (SOPs). Its objective is to elevate military practical cooperation from ASEAN level to ASEAN Plus level, and build upon militaries' experiences of previous exercises apart from enhancing military-to-military interoperability, coordination and cooperation amongst the participating countries.

The multi-national field exercise is expected to take place at the Naval Base in Muara, Rimba Air Base and Kampung Mentiri in Brunei-Muara District, and at the Bangar Community Hall, Kg Biang and Selangan Primary School in Temburong. This two-storey building spanning 1,700 sq m (or the size of a small community club) was built specially by the Bruneians for the ADMM-Plus HADR/MM Exercise, the Multi-National Coordination Centre (MNCC), near the Muara Naval Base, has 23 rooms and can hold about 280 people. You will find within a command centre, a briefing theatre and 7 conference rooms. For more pictures of this fantastic purpose built facility, see here.

A number of mini-exercises have been conducted at various sites, specifically the MNCC and the Navy Coordination Centre (NCC) in Muara, Air Coordination Centre (ACC) at Rimba and Incident Coordination Centre (ICC) at Bangar; as part of the Force Integration Training (FIT) program. The main objective of the exercise is to ensure the full utilisation of all the countries involved and practice on how they would deploy their troops based on scenarios that is specially created by the MNCC.

Below, participants receiving a briefing before a mini-exercise as part of the ADMM-Plus HADR/MM Exercise.

The MNCC is the central figure of the mini-exercise as it is where the scenarios are created and planned. The MNCC is linked with the NCC, ACC and ICC. These centres coordinate on the scenarios and will react accordingly to the problems given. The mini-exercises are an integral part of FIT as it tests the internal communication levels within the MNCC itself, their tactical command, their communication level with other countries and current processes in handling scenarios and solutions.

Below a picture of a multi-national planning cell at work in 1 of 7 conference rooms.

The ADMM-Plus HADR/MM Exercise is jointly led by Brunei as the host country of the exercise, Singapore and Japan as the co-chairs of the ADMM-Plus Experts' Working Group on Military Medicine (EWG-MM) and Vietnam and China as the co-chairs of the ADMM-Plus Experts' Working Group on HADR (EWG-HADR). This exercise will involve approximately 1,800 personnel, seven ships, 18 helicopters, military medical, engineering and search and rescue teams from the ADMM-Plus countries. For a breakdown of number of troops and equipment deployed, see this chart for details.

Quick Facts about ASEAN Co-chair for HADR: Vietnam

The World Armed Forces Series | Vietnam People's Army - YouTube

Population.......................................: 85.85 million
Ranked No. 3 by population in ASEAN

Total Fertility Rate (CIA Factbook).: 1.89 (No. 140 out of 223)
2012 Corruption Perception Index ..: 31 out of 100 -- No. 123 in CPI
Literacy rate (and Life Expectancy)...: 93% (74 years) (World Bank data)
Ease of doing business index 2013.: No. 99 of 185
2011 Moody's Credit Rating (Outlook): B1 (Negative)

2012 GDP .......................................: US$155.5 billion (IMF data)

No. of Troops (active/reserve)..........: 455,000 (active) and 5 million (reserves)

*Defence Spending as a % of GDP ...: Between a low of 1.9% to a high of 2.5% (data from 2006 to 2011)
*2011 Defence Spending...................: US$2.5 billion (at constant 2010 prices)
*2006 Defence Spending...................: US$1.7 billion (at constant 2010 prices)
*2001 Defence Spending...................: No data shown in SIPRI database
*1996 Defence Spending...................: No data shown in SIPRI database

Quick Facts about ASEAN Co-chair for MM: Singapore

The World Armed Forces Series | Singapore Armed Forces - YouTube

Population.......................................: 5.08 million
Ranked No. 9 by population in ASEAN

Total Fertility Rate (CIA Factbook).: 0.78 (No. 223 out of 223)
2012 Corruption Perception Index ..: 87 out of 100 -- No. 5 in CPI
Literacy rate (and Life Expectancy).: 95% (81 years) (World Bank data)
Ease of doing business index 2013.: No. 1 of 185
2011 Moody's Credit Rating (Outlook): AAA (Stable)
2012 GDP .......................................: US$276.5 billion (IMF data)

No. of Troops (active/reserve)..........: 72,500 (active) and 356,500 (reserves)

*Defence Spending as a % of GDP ...: Between a low of 3.7% to a high of 5.4% (from 1996 to 2011)
*2011 Defence Spending...................: US$8.3 billion (at constant 2010 prices)
*2006 Defence Spending...................: US$7.6 billion (at constant 2010 prices)
*2001 Defence Spending...................: US$6.6 billion (at constant 2010 prices)
*1996 Defence Spending...................: US$5.1 billion (at constant 2010 prices)

Note: *2011 Defence spending data from SIPRI
Last edited:


Super Moderator
Staff member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #4
Below, a picture of airmen of the Air Working Group in a meeting to work out final co-ordination details.

ASEAN Plus come together for helicopter familiarisation - YouTube

Below, RSAF airmen briefing Indian exercise participants on the process of a medical evacuation drill using a Super Puma.

Below, RSAF airmen and PLA staff pose for a group picture in a Super Puma, after briefing Chinese exercise participants on the process of a medical evacuation drill.

Below, participants from the Royal Malaysian Air Force and PLA taking part in a heli-casualty evacuation drill.

Below, an air crew from the Royal Brunei Air Force showing participants how to evacuate casualties.

Below, participants of the Air Working Group practising fast-roping from a helicopter to perform a search and rescue exercise.

Below, the SAF medical team taking a group photo in front of a S-61 Nuri Helicopter of the Royal Malaysian Air Force.

Below, US and China medical teams in a group photo.

More pictures of the Medical Working Group at the ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting (ADMM) - Plus Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) and Military Medicine (MM) Exercise, here, here and here. Medical personnel from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations plus eight other dialogue countries came together for a military medicine symposium during force integration training June 12 in Berakas, Brunei, as part of the ADMM-Plus HADR and MM Exercise. The focus of the symposium is to familiarize the different nationalities of standard medical procedures and best practices in disaster relief operations.
Last edited:


Super Moderator
Staff member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #5
Multinational Engineers at Work in Support of the ADMM Plus HADR and MM Exercise

On 15 June 2013, the VIP entourage from the Brunei Ministry of Defence flew out to Temburong District to have a closer look on the exercise ground. The scenario in Temburong will stimulate flood-stricken and landslides in Kampong Biang. Meanwhile in Kampong Selangan the Engineering team is from Brunei Darussalam and Singapore. While the Medical teams providing first level medical support are from Brunei Darussalam, India, Japan and Singapore. From Temburong, the delegation flew back to the capital, to the Mentiri Exercise Site located at Mentiri Housing Area where the exercise scenario will stimulate collapse building situation and involving three joint components, the medical, search and rescue and the engineers from Brunei Darussalam, China, Korea, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, and United States of America. Following the Mentiri exercise area, the entourage headed to the Muara Naval Base where the second level Field Hospital is being set up at the parade square by the Medical Working Group from Brunei Darussalam, China, Japan, Singapore and Vietnam.

Engineers from the People's Liberation Army (PLA) extending a bridge across a river in Kampong Biang, Brunei, so as to reach survivors stranded in a simulated flood.

Engineers from the PLA extending a bridge across a river in Kampong Biang, Brunei, so as to reach survivors stranded in a simulated flood.

Engineers from Brunei and Singapore briefing a VIP entourage from the Brunei Ministry of Defence on the scale and progress of work in Kampong Selangan. The purpose of these site visits was to ensure the exercise planners are on track and the exercise participants on track.


More details and pictures of the naval assets deployed for this exercise, here.

Below, the Indian Navy is contributing 180 personnel, the 121 metre long, landing ship tank, INS Ghariyal and a Sea King helicopter.

Below the 159 metre long, JMSDF Shirane has also docked bringing with it, a UH-1 ‘Huey’ helicopter in its large central hangar which can house up to three helicopters .

Chinese assets deployed for the exercise include one Z-8 helicopter, PLAN's 210 metre long, 'Kunlun Shan' landing platform dock (998), and the 178 metre long, hospital ship ‘Peace Ark’ (866). Below is the ‘Peace Ark’ , which has 300 beds, 20 ICUs, 8 operating theatres, and the capacity to accommodate 40 major surgeries a day.

See this CCTV 7 video in Chinese on Peace Ark's role in the ADMM Plus HADR and MM Exercise.

Service personnel from Brunei, US and Singapore visiting the ‘Peace Ark’.

Below, the 210 metre long, T-AKE-9 USNS Matthew Perry; and two Puma helicopters. USNS Matthew Perry was one of several US ships participating in disaster relief after the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. During 21 days of operations in the aftermath of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, Matthew Perry completed 17 separate replenishment events and delivering more than 1.5 million gallons (5,700 m³) of fuel and transported relief supplies.

See this video: USNS Matthew Perry Supports ASEAN Exercise in Brunei.

Below the 100 metre long, multi-purpose command support ship, KD Mahawangsa from the Royal Malaysian Navy that was deployed to deliver armoured infantry vehicles from 4th Infantry Brigade as part of peacekeeper forces for Operation Astute during the 2006 East Timor crisis and in 2008 to the Gulf of Aden after the hijacking of two MISC oil tankers. The Malaysian command and support ship carried equipment and vehicles for this exercise.

Below, Singapore Navy’s RSS Endurance docked at the Royal Brunei Navy's jetty. Singapore is participating in this exercise with 340 personnel, RSS Endurance, four Super Puma helicopters, military medical assets, and combat engineer assets.

RSS Endurance is a 141 metre landing platform dock; and is a type of naval vessel operated by the Singapore and Thai Navies. On 2 January 2005, she was the first ship to reach Meulaboh (150 km from the epicentre of the earthquake), to render aid to a coastal town of 40,000 that was devastated by the Indian Ocean Tsunami, with 1 in 4 residents of the town killed. On 6 January 2005, RSS Persistence, her sister-ship arrived with more aid supplies. And on the 16 January 2005, RSS Endeavour arrived carrying more supplies and NGO aid workers. At its peak, over 1,500 SAF personnel were deployed in disaster relief operations in support of Operation Flying Eagle.

Above, a Fast Craft Utility (FCU) used as a ship-to-shore connector for the Endurance Class vessel to land combat engineering assets and deliver disaster relief supplies to Meulaboh in January 2005. This class of naval vessel has also been deployed by Singapore, from 2003 to 2008, to defend the Iraqi oil platforms (which were subject to suicide attacks by small boats in April 2004). As one American noted:
"One of the great undiscussed aspects of the coalition of the willing for Iraq has been the steady contribution of Singapore's Navy for security for the Iraqi oil platforms KAAOT and ABOT... specifically providing the Iraqi Navy with a base at sea for training and operations. This isn't a small thing, by using large amphibious ships as forward bases, the Iraqi Navy saves 3 days round trip to and from port for provisions..."​
RSS Endurance and her sister ships have also been deployed as part of CTF-151, in support of counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden. See this Singapore Navy video for this vessel class in action: Go Beyond Horizons - YouTube.
Last edited:


Super Moderator
Staff member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #6
Multinational Engineers Working Group in Brunei

The Engineers Working Group at the ADMM - Plus HADR and MM Exercise in Brunei.

Engineers from the military forces of Brunei, China, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam meeting in Kampong Mentiri, Brunei, to discuss their roles during the exercise. Among other things, the soldiers will be building bridges across “flooded” areas, clearing debris, and building modular kits as temporary shelters.

Engineers from the Royal Brunei Armed Forces, Royal Thai Armed Forces and the SAF recceing a site in Kampong Mentiri, Brunei, where they will be deployed during the exercise.

Engineers from Singapore, laying out the pieces the comprise a modular kit.

Engineers from the Brunei and Singapore working hand-in-hand to build a modular kit to serve as medical treatment room during the exercise.

The completed frame of the modular kit.

The exterior of the completed modular kit, located in Selangan Primary School. After the exercise, the kit will be used as a classroom.

The SAF's 21st Division, includes sub-units from the Guards Formation (trained in amphibious and heli-mobile operations), is capable of rapid deployment both by air or sea - making the 21st Division and its sub-units, like the 7th Singapore Infantry Brigade (7SIB), the force of choice in the conduct of HADR operations (see post #19 of the Singapore Army Pictures thread, a command element of 7SIB was deployed to Christchurch to assist in the disaster relief efforts in February 2011 earthquake). Very soon, we shall see pictures of a Mark 2 light strike vehicle (Mk2 LSV) for the Guards Formation, which will offer better protection while retaining the heli-mobility of the specialist support platoons equipped with the Mk2 LSVs.

Col. Desmond Tan, Chief Guards Officer and Commander 21st Division, was last featured in a picture thread having Chai in Afghanistan (see post #12 of the Singapore Army Pictures thread), when he was part of the SAF's reconstruction team that funded the building of a Regional Health Training Centre (RHTC), in Bamiyan under Operation Blue Ridge (see also this March 2010, RSIS Commentary). The Bamiyan RHTC succeeded in helping the Afghan Ministry of Public Health frame and initiate a system to, in military parlance, "Raise, Train and Sustain" the province's healthcare workers. Since 2007, 492 SAF personnel have been deployed to Afghanistan to participate in the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) peace support operations and reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan. Beyond reconstruction work, providing small teams of institutional trainers to train Afghan forces (artillery and counter IED combat engineers); multiple rotations of imagery analysts (to exploit data gathered from UAV feeds); the SAF also deployed a 52-man Search II UAV team; and multiple rotations of artillery hunting radar teams for 15 months to provide early warning for rocket attacks on the ISAF base in the outskirts of Tarin Kowt (within "n" seconds of rocket launch detection).

Combat Engineers from the Brunei and Singapore taking a group picture with Col. Desmond Tan (4th from left in the picture), Chief Guards Officer and Commander 21st Division, before their handy work. One of the missions of the 21st Division is to be the designated headquarters joint task force to plan and conduct Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) Operations when the need arises (the need arose in the aftermath of the Indian Ocean Tsunami in December 2004, which resulted in Operation Flying Eagle). See the 55 second mark onwards of this video for details on Operation Flying Eagle: [nomedia=""][TVC] Army Ops Diary - YouTube[/nomedia].
Last edited:


Super Moderator
Staff member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #7

16 June 2013 -- Troops from the 10 ASEAN countries gathered in Brunei for the 2nd edition of the ASEAN Militaries' Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) Exercise. Singapore and Brunei were the co-hosts of the exercise also known as the AHX, at the Warrant Officers’ Mess, Muara Naval Base. The event is divided into two separate sessions, namely:

(i) the Symposium and Professional Exchanges; and

(ii) the table top exercise based on a HADR scenario.​

At the opening ceremony of the one-day exercise, co-chairman of the 2nd AHX, Brigadier-General (BG) Ngien Hoon Ping from the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) explained why the exercise was important. "Our region is prone to natural disasters," said the SAF's Director of Joint Operations. The typhoons, floods, earthquakes and tsunamis that this region has experienced "have shown how difficult it is for a single country, no matter how big, to muster all its resources and capabilities necessary to attend to the needs of the disaster victims". Stressing that armed forces have a crucial role to play in disaster relief and rescue operations, BG Ngien, said: "An effective system to coordinate efforts across all aid agencies would need to be worked out and validated through joint military exercises such as the AHX."

BG Ngien (left) and First Admiral Dato Seri Pahlawan Abdul Aziz unveiling a plaque to declare the start of the 2nd AHX.

The other co-chairman of the exercise, Joint Force Commander of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) First Admiral Dato Seri Pahlawan Abdul Aziz Bin Haji Mohd Tamit, added: "I am confident that the concept and objectives planned for this 2nd AHX will enable us to further strengthen our practical cooperation and enrich the experiences of sharing the best practices and lessons learnt from HADR operations in the past."

The 2nd AHX kicking off with a symposium, with countries giving presentations on how their armed forces respond to disasters

During the Symposium and Professional Exchanges, participating countries made the following presentations:

(a) Brunei presented on “The role of National Disaster Management Centre in HADR mechanism”;

(b) Indonesia presented on “The First ASEAN Regional Forum Disaster Relief Exercise (ARF DiRex) in Manado in 2011”;

(c) Malaysia presented on “Insight on Malaysian Armed Forces Humanitarian Assistance and Civil-Military Cooperation (CIMIC) Program”;

(d) the Philippines presented on “The role of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in HADR Operations and National Coordination”;

(e) Thailand on “National experience in HADR response to the 2011 floods”;

(f) Vietnam briefing on “Vietnam’s People Army’s Experience in HADR Operations”; and

(g) ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre) on “The role of AHA Centre in regional operational coordination on HADR response.”​

During the 2nd AHX, about 100 participants learnt how different countries managed HADR missions. They also practised dealing with disasters and planning rescue missions together in the table-top exercise.

Colonel (COL) Yuli Subiakto, the Sub-director of human resources of health in the Directorate of Health, Ministry of Defence, Indonesia, said that the exercise was a useful learning platform: "We learnt how to coordinate better with other countries...and I hope to bring home some of the good practices and get them implemented in my country."

Major-General (MG) Wittaya Wachirakul, Director at the Joint and Combined Exercise Planning Office in the Royal Thai Armed Forces, added: "This was also a great opportunity to get contacts from other countries, to get to know people who have experience in HADR operations."

SAF participant Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Lim Hock Chye, Chief of Staff, Peace Support Operations, Naval Operations Department, summed it up: "This AHX is a demonstration of the step that ASEAN nations have taken to collaborate at the operational level... What's important is that we're able to embrace and take advantage of the diversity, capabilities and perspectives that each nation can offer to solve a problem."

MG Ng (in blush-grey) and MG Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan (on his right) at the closing ceremony of the 2nd AHX.

Prior to the close of the 2nd AHX, there was a video presentation and summary of the conduct of the table top exercise by the Co-Chairs from Brunei Darussalam and Republic of Singapore. The SAF's Chief of Defence Force MG Ng Chee Meng and Commander of RBAF MG Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin officiated at the closing ceremony of the exercise. Singapore and Indonesia co-hosted the first AHX in 2011, with different phases of the exercise conducted in both countries.
Last edited:


Super Moderator
Staff member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #8
Exercise Day 1 said:
The Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) / Military Medicine (MM) Exercise under the mechanism of the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus) kicked off on June 17, 2013 (China Military Online has reported it here, and Kyodo News has reported it here).

17 June 2013 -- Tropical Revolving Storm (TRS) Typhoon “SIMPUR”, which was reported to be 100km North East of Brunei Darussalam heading West-South-West, moving at 110km/h. The wind speed was reported to have strengthened to 135km/h. As a result, Brunei Darussalam was battered and life came to a standstill by weeks of heavy rainfall. The worst hit area was TEMBURONG District, which had a recorded 50mm of rainfall in an hour. The storm had caused flash floods and mudslides throughout the country. Most areas affected are remote villages and populated areas located near major rivers. Local Emergency Response Aid Team (ERAT) in all districts managed to conduct surveys onto the affected areas. The aftermath of Typhoon “SIMPUR” left vast population stranded and displaced, large numbers of death and missing reported, lines of communication disrupted (flooded roads and collapsed bridges), loss of power, food shortages and clean water in affected areas, isolated areas due to communication loss, large numbers of dead livestock leading to an imminent spread of diseases, damaged infrastructures particularly in remote areas emanating from strong winds and mudslides.

Local ERAT cannot cope with the magnitude of the disaster. Brunei Darussalam’s National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC) had requested support from neighbouring countries and International Bodies through ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre). This is the broad exercise storyboard for the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM Plus) Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief and Military Medicine (HADR & MM) Exercise that is currently taking place in Brunei Darussalam commencing 17 June until 20 June 2013.

For the start of the exercise, the theme for today’s scenario is initiation of incidents and establishment of Needs Assessment Surveillance Team (NAST) and initial response. Early this morning, the breaking news reported two separate incidents at Kampong Biang and Kampung Mentiri. At Kampung Biang, the river had burst due to heavy rainfall and the village has been flooded, preventing all access into the village except via air. Number of casualties at the site remains unknown with many villagers believed to be trapped in their flooded houses and huts.

Thai military trains in disaster drill at Mentiri -YouTube

Meanwhile, at Kampung Mentiri, the news reported that a building had collapsed in the area due to soil erosion. The number of civilians injured and trapped under the rubbles remained unknown, and access to the site is impossible due to damage axes.

Assistance request has been forwarded to Multi-National Coordination Centre (MNCC) for immediate response. This was the first tasked given to the MNCC, prompting it to urgently assess the situation, plan and execute their response. The expected deployment of participating countries for this exercise scenario are in the form of search and rescue, helicopter support and evacuation, medical assistance, as well as humanitarian aids and supplies. All the decision making process and initial responses made by MNCC will be monitored and scrutinized closely by the Exercise Controller (EXCON).

This is the first day of the ADMM-Plus multinational joint exercise.
17 June 2013 -- Participating soldiers in the ADMM Plus HADR & MM Ex shared their thoughts with interviewers from Brunei's Ministry of Defence (Bn Mindef) on how the preparations have gone for the exercise, and how they felt going into the exercise itself. Brigadier General Ngien Hoon Ping, Singapore Armed Forces said "The SAF is looking forward to contribute to the exercise in a meaningful way. The exercise will also foster confidence and enhance military-to-military relations across all levels."

Senior Colonel Zhao Bao from China's Peoples' Liberation Army shared that the preparations have gone very well, and that the Chinese team has been working with armed forces soldiers from Malaysia and New Zealand to set up bridges. He said that he has learned from this exercise that, "Asean countries are keen to promote their capabilities and the countries have a strong relationship with the other Asean-Plus countries and can work together in a good environment". "This is what I have learned, that the people here like to work together," he added.

Mr Pattamatta from India is another who shared his thoughts, and said, "India as a nation is ever ready to take on these challenges, as HADR is such an effort which requires all nations to come together and make an effort, which is going to be a multi-national cooperation; a necessity for the future. "This is going to be the platform where we all can link up with each other, coordinate and ever offering SOP ready," he continued. He highlighted that India has come with a contingent that consists of one ship, and has also brought a sea-king helicopter as well as a medical team of 20 personnel. "We are all here to contribute our effort towards the ADMM exercise and assets will be integrated with the multi-national causes for a successful HADR," he added.

Colonel Sunsuripto from the Indonesian army also spoke, saying that he has seen a lot of work go into the arranging and managing of all the participants for this exercise. "So far Brunei as the host, they are running this programme or exercise very smoothly and very good," he said, congratulating the Sultanate for the successful way in which everything has been run for this huge exercise. "I hope, for the future, all countries can contribute more, especially Indonesia because at the moment we have only contributed a planning team, a search and rescue team and lastly a medical team," he added.

Major Ian Brandon from the New Zealand Defence Force said he feels "privileged" to have been invited to participate in this inaugural ADMM+ HADR & MM exercise hosted by Brunei Darussalam. "I congratulate the Royal Brunei Armed Forces for the outstanding job they have done in planning and coordinating a very complex joint multinational activity," he said. "HADR and MM are very important military outputs in our part of the world, and an effective response can be required at very short notice in order to save lives. "I have no doubt that this exercise will significantly enhance cooperation and our collective ability to respond to regional disasters in future, and look forward to continuing to share and develop our combined capabilities with the 17 other contributing nations as the activity progresses," Major Brandon added.

[nomedia=""]U.S. Participation in ASEAN Exercise - YouTube[/nomedia]

“I’ve learned that from all the nations that are here, Brunei is such a fabulous host. They are taking great care to make sure that the exercise is very well designed and off to a very good start. So now is only just a beginning of learning. But the one thing I want to say is all the participants are eager to demonstrate the capabilities but also able to bring together their forces. That is very, very refreshing,” said Col. Douglas W. Pasnik, Chief of Regional Plans And Operations when asked about their preparations and experiences here in Brunei. With regards to participating in the HADR exercise for the first time in the region, Col. Pasnik said that it has been exciting and a very rare opportunity to be able to have so many nations present at one event and one of the rare opportunities that they got here, not only to talk about things that are happening here but also somewhat lay the groundwork for things that can happen in the future so it is exciting.
Last edited:


Super Moderator
Staff member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #9
Exercise Day 2 said:

18 June 2013 – Local officials from the Temburong District informed the Incident Coordination Centre (ICC), that the main water pump in Bangar Town had been damaged due to soil erosion. Current water supply to the area is reported to be low and can only be sustained for the next 12-hours. Due to the poor road condition in the area, repair works on the damaged water pump can only be conducted two days later. This is one of the scenario inject for today in the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM Plus) Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief and Military Medicine (HADR & MM) Exercise.

Above, engineers from the militaries of the United States (foreground) and Singapore (centre) visiting the water purification unit of the PLA, which can produce clean water for disaster victims.

Other exercise scenario injects for today included the reinforcement request to the Multi-National Coordination Centre (MNCC) for the Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) for Mentiri site; walk-in casualty at the Selangan Primary School and Biang medical camps; and helicopter evacuation at Mentiri. The HADR operation theme is conduct of relief operations. The objectives of the scenario injects today, among others, are to practice MNCC log resupply process to support ICC; coordination with Air Coordination Centre (ACC) for helicopter support; medical response to the incident; coordination for helicopter and naval evacuation of the casualty; and practice USAR team to coordinate with Level 1 Medical Team on handing over of casualties.

Above, Kampong Biang flood - Brunei and Thailand medics tending to a casualty.

The involvement of respective participating countries at the sites today are divided into teams for medical, search and rescue (SAR), air and naval operations, and engineering. For details of what is happening, see this Singapore video.

At the Mentiri site, the medical team comprises of Brunei Darussalam, People’s Republic of China, Republic of Korea, United States of America, and Socialist Republic of Vietnam; the SAR team comprises of Kingdom of Thailand, Malaysia, People’s Republic of China and Socialist Republic of Vietnam; while the engineering team comprises of Brunei Darussalam and Kingdom of Thailand.

Above, medical personnel from the Philippines (left) and Thailand (right) tending to a casualty at flood-affected Kampong Biang.

Meanwhile, at the Kampong Biang site, the medical team comprises of Brunei Darussalam, Kingdom of Thailand and Republic of the Philippines; the SAR team comprises of Kingdom of Thailand, Republic of the Philippines, and Republic of Singapore; and the engineering team comprises of Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, New Zealand, People’s Republic of China, and United States of America.

Above, S'pore Chief of Defence visits SAF medical personnel at Bangar field hospital.

Additionally, on the air operation side, the participating aircrafts include those from Brunei Darussalam, India, Japan, Malaysia, People’s Republic of China, Republic of Singapore, and United States of America.
18 June 2013 – Local and international media providing coverage of the ADMM PLUS HADR & MM Ex was taken for a-day media tour to the exercise sites. The Head of Media, Leftenan Colonel Haji Salleh bin Haji Suhaili gave a brief commentary of the exercise, with the tour thereafter.

Below, People's Liberation Army (PLA) engineers preparing a foot bridge to reach flood-affected Kampong Biang to rescue stranded villagers.

19 June 2013 – The visiting naval ship from India, the INS GHARIAL went all out to the local community today, donating blood and entertaining special group of children from The Society for the Management of Autism-Related Issues - Training, Education and Resources of Brunei or SMARTER Brunei as part of their community service activities. This morning fifty ship personnel from the INS GHARIYAL including the Commanding Officer of the Indian INS GHARIAL naval ship, Commander Vishal Bishnoi were eager to participate in donating blood campaign which held at the Blood Donation Centre, in Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha (RIPAS) Hospital this morning.
Below, Thai medical troops transporting a casualty across the river for treatment at Kampong Biang.

Below, troops from the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) carrying a casualty at Mentiri to the nearby medical post for treatment.
Last edited:


Super Moderator
Staff member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #10
20 June 2013 - His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah Ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar `Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, Minister of Defence and Supreme Commander of Royal Brunei Armed Force (RBAF) consented to visit the exercise areas of the on-going ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting-Plus Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief and Military Medicine Exercise (ADMM PLUS HADR & MM Ex) both in Temburong District and Mentiri. The itinerary of His Majesty visit began at the Multi National Coordination Centre (MNCC).

Above, His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah (in red beret) visiting an SAF medical facility in Selangan, Brunei.

Upon arrival at the Royal Brunei Naval Base helipad, His Majesty were greeted by the Minister of Energy, Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Retired) Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Awang Haji Mohammad Yasmin bin Haji Umar, Deputy Minister of Defence, Dato Paduka Haji Mustappa bin Haji Sirat and *Major General Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin, Commander of Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF).

Above, troops from the militaries of Brunei (in green), China (in grey) and US (in blue) evacuating a casualty from a collapsed building in Mentiri via an Indian Navy Sea King helicopter.

His Majesty was then presented with a welcoming remarks by the RBAF Commander, Major General Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin at the conference room before listening to the exercise brief delivered by the Exercise Director, First Admiral Dato Seri Pahlawan Abdul Aziz bin Haji Mohd Tamit, Joint Force Commander RBAF. The exercise brief included the role of MNCC, overview of the exercise which focused on the structure, sites and scenarios for the exercises as well as the practical sessions such as field communications, prioritising casualties (Triage) and Medical Simulation.

Above, the rubble-strewn streets of Mentiri, a "disaster" site with collapsed houses.

After the exercise briefing, His Majesty toured the MNCC and had a closer look of the OPERA system. OPERA is a computer application that specifically designs for Human Assistance Disaster Relief (HADR) operations. It is a Command and Control Information System (CCIS) which function as a platform for data communication and information sharing between operation centre and unit deployed in the incident area. It can be used for military operation, civil military collaboration, multiagency and multinational deployment. The system has the ability to create better situational awareness to the MNCC during the conduct of exercise.

Above, search and rescue troops and dogs from the Malaysian Armed Forces searching for casualties buried under the debris from collapsed houses in Mentiri.

Singapore Navy in Action

Two Fast Craft Utility (FCU) in the well dock of RSS Endurance.

A solider marshaling a truck onto a FCU used as a ship-to-shore connector for the Endurance Class vessel to land combat engineering assets and deliver disaster relief supplies in support of the HADR/MM Exercise.

Singapore Navy's FCUs at work in support of the HADR/MM Exercise.

Singapore Navy's FCUs and smaller Fast Craft and Equipment Personnel (FCEP) moving in convoy in support of the HADR/MM Exercise.

Singapore Navy's FCU delivering medical personnel in support of the HADR/MM Exercise.

Above, a rescue team from the Indonesian and Philippine military saving a man stranded in a half-submerged house at Kampong Biang.

Above, engineers from the PLA building a bridge across a river to deliver aid to stranded victims at flood-affected Kampong Biang.
Last edited:


Super Moderator
Staff member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #11
Singapore Armed Forces' (SAF) Chief of Defence Force Major-General (MG) Ng Chee Meng highlighted the significance of the ADMM-Plus HADR/MM Exercise. "This marks the first time that 18 nations have come together, participated constructively and demonstrated practical cooperation in a HADR/MM exercise. Brunei has done an excellent job in hosting this exercise, and the SAF is honoured to have worked closely with the Royal Brunei Armed Forces as well as the other ASEAN and Plus militaries in making this exercise a success," said MG Ng.

SAF Chief of Defence Force Major-General Ng Chee Meng presenting the professional engineering certificate to Commander of RBAF MG Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin during the handing over of the modular structure.

Exercise Day 3 & Day 4 said:

Above His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei (second from right) being briefed by Military Expert 1 Issac Jonathan Teo (right) on the Command, Control and Information System in the Multinational Coordination Centre (MNCC). They are accompanied by Exercise Commander MNCC Colonel (U) Hj Hamzah Sahat and Exercise Deputy Commander MNCC Colonel Desmond Tan (left).

Above, participants from Brunei, China, India and US participating in a helicopter casualty evacuation exercise.

Above exercise participants from China, Singapore and US having a discussion on China's water purification unit.

Medical troops from the RBAF (left), the armed forces of the Republic of Korea (centre) and the United States (right) tending to a casualty rescued from the Mentiri site.

SAF doctors performing a surgery to remove a lump from a patient as the Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah (in red beret) and Chief of the SAF Medical Corps Colonel (Dr) Kang Wee Lee (left) look on. The surgery was done as part of the SAF's community outreach on the sidelines of the exercise.

Medical personnel from the SAF and the PLA attending to a casualty at a medical facility in Mentiri.

The EWGs on HADR, MM, Counter Terrorism, Peacekeeping and Maritime Security are part of the wider framework of cooperation under the ADMM-Plus platform that was created in Hanoi, Vietnam in 2010. With regard to the ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting (ADMM) or the meeting of the 10 ASEAN Defence Ministers, plus 8 other powers. Dr Ramon Pacheco Pardo in April 2011 said:

"The ADMM-Plus framework serves a dual purpose for Washington and Beijing. It allows both of them to be central players in the most important security mechanism of a region in which both of them have a deep interest. Neither China nor the US wants to be left without a seat in the discussion table on issues such as piracy in the Malacca Strait, the exploration of energy resources in the South China Sea, the role of Indonesia in regional affairs, or the future of Myanmar. A confluence of national interest and prestige underpin the interest that both countries have in being involved in Southeast Asian affairs. Therefore, it is unlikely that any of them will retreat from the region any time soon. The ADMM-Plus is a cost-effective way to remain involved.

In addition, the ADMM-Plus is the latest in a network of institutions bringing American and Chinese officials together in dealing with issues of mutual concern. The degree of mutual confidence between Washington and Beijing has been growing as relations have become more institutionalized. The full-blown war predicted by many analysts in the 1990s is unthinkable today. The trade wars forecasted in the 2000s have yet to materialize as well. In contrast, China and the US are working together on issues such as the North Korean nuclear conundrum, climate change negotiations or managing to the global financial crisis...

The ADMM-Plus could well fill the existing void at the regional level, where no similar institution exists... The ADMM-Plus could help to reduce tensions between China, the US and ASEAN countries, bringing an era of greater understanding and cooperation in Southeast Asia."​
Last edited:


Super Moderator
Staff member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #12
20 Jun 2013 -- The ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting (ADMM)-Plus Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) and Military Medicine (MM) Exercise was successfully held in Brunei from 17 to 20 June 2013.

State of emergency lifted. NGOs have arrived for recovery work; militaries will be departing.

His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei officiated at the closing ceremony held at the Muara Naval Base, together with the visiting Defence Chiefs (or their representatives) of the participating nations. This marked the successful conclusion of the four-day exercise involving the armed forces of the ADMM-Plus countries. The ADMM-Plus is made up of 18 countries, namely the ten ASEAN countries as well as Australia, China, Japan, India, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Russia and the United States.

Troops at Multinational Coord Centre cheering the end of the exercise!

The ADMM-Plus HADR/MM Exercise saw the deployment of approximately 3200 personnel, seven ships, 15 helicopters as well as military medical, engineering and search and rescue teams and assets from the 18 nations in scenarios relating to collapsed buildings, landslide and flash flood. The multi-national forces exercised the evacuation of casualties and displaced personnel, as well as the delivery of aid to affected communities.

A group photograph with his Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei.

Some ADMM-Plus EWG Meetings

4 – 5 April 2012 - The second ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus) Experts’ Working Group (EWG) on Counter Terrorism was held in Washington D.C.,USA from 4 to 5 April 2012. The Second EWG on Counter terrorism Meeting was built on discussions arising from the inaugural EWG meeting on Counter terrorism held in Makassar, Indonesia last September 2011. The meeting is to further discuss the upcoming planned Counter Terrorism Exercise (CTX) that is scheduled to be held in September 2013. The meeting also discussed several topics on Counter Terrorism issues; ‘Developing Whole of Government Counter Terrorism Policies: Processes for Effective Interagency Collaboration’, ‘Perspectives on Counter Terrorism Challenges in the Region’ and ‘De-Radicalization and Rehabilitation in the Region: Challenges and Best Practices’.

29 May 2013 – The 5th ADMM-Plus EWG on Maritime Security Meeting was held at the Eastin Hotel, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia. Co-chairing the meeting were Ms Suriani Ahmad, Undersecretary, Policy and Strategic Planning Division, Ministry of Defence Malaysia, and Commodore Stuart Mayer, Director General Navy Capability, Plans and Engagement, Department of Defence, Australia. The Meeting was briefed on the progress of the Field Training Exercise (FTX), scheduled to be held at Jervis Bay, Sydney, Australia, on 29 September to 1 October 2013. The Meeting also discussed the development of the ADMM-Plus Maritime Security Community Information Sharing Portal (AMSCIP), as well as the transition of the ADMM-Plus EWG on Maritime Security for the next cycle, starting from 2014 until 2017, which will be co-chaired by Brunei Darussalam and New Zealand.

Future initiatives for EWG on Maritime Security was also discussed as the way forward in keeping the positive momentum of the remarkable progress that has been reached so far by the EWG. Prior to the Meeting, Malaysia and Australia also Co-Chaired the Mid Planning Conference of ADMM-Plus Maritime Security FTX on 28 May 2013. The meeting discussed on various aspects of the FTX, which include Identification of nations participating in the FTX as well as discussion on publication, references, TORs and documents for FTX.

25 – 29 June 2012 - The 2nd ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus) Experts’ Working Group (EWG) on Peacekeeping Operations (PKO) was held in Manila, Philippines from 25 to 29 June 2012. The Meeting was co-chaired by Prof. Raymund Jose G. Quilop, Assistant Secretary for Strategic Assessment, Department of National Defence, Philippines and Paul Sinclair, Head of International Defence Relations Branch, Ministry of Defence, New Zealand. The meeting was attended by representatives of ASEAN Member States and the Plus Countries. Fundamental to establishing the direction for the ADMM-Plus to collaborate in PKO capability enhancement is taking stock of current capabilities of member countries to have a clear picture of the capability gaps that need to be addressed as well as opportunities for collaboration to enhance member countries’ ability to contribute effectively to PKOs. Hence, this 2nd ADMM-Plus EWG on PKO provided the PKO Regional Capabilities Assessment, as well as apprising ADMM-Plus member countries of the United Nations’ expectations, standards and procedures in peacekeeping troop deployment; and facilitated the exchange of information on present national PKO capabilities including plans for developing and enhancing each country’s PKO capabilities.

The meeting; managed to identify areas for collaboration and plot the direction of ADMM-Plus cooperation in PKO capability enhancement through the identification of common strengths, common capability gaps and individual countries’ specialization; establishes a database of information collated from the information gathered in the capabilities assessment; formulated a number of specific activities to be implemented during this co-chairmanship of the Philippines and New Zealand; and produces key documents such as consolidated calendar of PKO training and courses available in ADMM-Plus PKO centres.

This meeting ended with a visit to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Peacekeeping Operations Centre in Capas, Tarlac. Peacekeeping Operations is one of the five areas for cooperation agreed by the inaugural ADMM-Plus Meeting when it first met in October 2010. The EWG on PKO is currently co-chaired by the Philippines and New Zealand until 2013.
Last edited:


Super Moderator
Staff member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #13

At the 2nd ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting (ADMM)-Plus, held in Brunei on 29 August 2013, Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen, his fellow ASEAN Defence Ministers and Ministers from the "Plus" countries - Australia, China, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Russia and the United States - discussed key security challenges facing the region and beyond. They also expressed satisfaction with the progress made by the ADMM-Plus since its inauguration in Vietnam in October 2010. The ADMM-Plus Ministers also signed a Joint Declaration to reaffirm the commitment of member countries to enhance regional peace and security.

Anti-Terror Military Drills! - YouTube

9 September 2013 -- US Ambassador Carden to ASEAN joined Indonesia Armed Forces Commander, General Moeldoko, to open the ADMM-Plus Counter-Terrorism Exercise (CTX) in Sentul, Indonesia. Military representatives from the 10 ASEAN Member States and the eight (8) Plus countries will participate in a table top exercise (TTX) and various practical vignettes this week and conclude on 13 September 2013. This is the second of three ADMM-Plus practical cooperation exercises this year, the first of which was the Humanitarian Assistance Disaster Relief/Military Medicine exercise in Brunei in June, and the third will be the Maritime Security exercise in Jervis Bay, Sydney, 28-29 September 2013.

Prior to the Opening Ceremony, the participants attended two days ice breaking sessions where all participants where divided into 11 groups. They embarked in obstacle course training, a shooting competition and also in sports for cohesion.

The exercise kicked off with the Counter Improvised Explosives Disposal phase hosted by the US. Participants had the chance to hear lectures and experiences from US personnel, who had been in War theatres. CTX participants also had the chance to do several route clearance practical.

Simultaneously, a TTX is also conducted. Spectators are trapped at the stadium in Indonesia's Sentul City, having been taken hostage by terrorists. Over at the city port, an LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) tanker and its crew have also been seized. Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and booby traps have been planted. And the terrorists have no qualms about making this a suicide mission. A robust mission plan is needed to rescue the hostages at both locations. This was a hypothetical scenario played out at the ADMM-Plus Counter Terrorism Exercise, held from 9 to 13 September 2013 (see ADMM-Plus forces sharpen counter-terrorism tactics).

At the table-top exercise, participants focused on strategic planning and discussed ways to coordinate the operations of counter-terrorism forces, police, civil defence, as well as other ministries and agencies. They also took part in a practical exercise which focused on tactical planning of the rescue operations, such as how to deal with suicide bombers and hostages whose bodies had been strapped with IEDs. The participants collectively discussed and brainstormed ideas, tapping on the experiences and knowledge of different forces to identify possible weaknesses in their plan.
Last edited:


Super Moderator
Staff member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #14
In October 2013, the 3rd meeting of the ADMM-Plus Experts' Working Group on Military Medicine (EWG-MM) was held in Singapore. The EWG-MM has identified challenges in military medical support operations and developed a set of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to establish a common understanding and operating language of Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) medical support.

During the October 2013 meeting, Singapore and Japan officially handed-over the co-chairmanship of the EWG-MM to Thailand and Russia. Singapore will co-chair the EWG on Counter-Terrorism with Australia in the next cycle of EWGs from 2014 to 2017.

ADMM-Plus navies enhance cooperation in maritime security exercise

Making a Difference: Beyond Borders - YouTube

This is first time that many ADMM-Plus nations have exercised alongside each other at sea and it is the flagship activity under Australia and Malaysia’s co-chairmanship of the ADMM-Plus Experts’ Working Group on Maritime Security.

Below, MAJ Ooi Loong of the RSN (third from left) with his counterparts from the ADMM-Plus countries attending an exercise briefing.

The ADMM-Plus exercise is jointly commanded by Co-Exercise directors Rear Admiral Dato Nasaruddin bin Othman from Malaysia and Commodore Peter Leavy from Australia. The 6th ADMM-Plus EWG on Maritime Security Meeting was held at the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel, Sydney, Australia. The 6th EWG Meeting was held to coincide with the Maritime Security Field Training Exercise (MS-FTX), held at Jervis Bay, Sydney, Australia.

Below, RSS Endeavour (left) during the Maritime Security exercise, along with Japan's JS MAKINAMI (centre) and China's PLA-N QIMADAO. MAJ Ooi Loong, Commanding Officer of RSS Endeavour, added that the exercise allowed the different navies to understand one another's operations and pave the way for interoperability.

The ADMM-Plus delegation also made site visits on 29th September 2013 to the HMAS Albatross in Nowra, New South Wales which is the largest operational Naval establishment and the Royal Australian Navy’s only Air Station.It is also the home to the Fleet Air Arm Museum which the delegation visited. The delegation then proceeded to the HMAS Creswell, which provides the initial entry training for the Royal Australian Navy officers. During the site visit to HMAS Creswell, the delegation had a brief tour to the FTX C2 Centre. Afterwards, the delegation proceeded to observe boarding demonstrations in Jervis Bay where the 11 ADMM-Plus ships, participated in the FTX, as well as the upcoming International Fleet Review which was held back-to-back to the Maritime Security EWG Meeting.

Below, a Royal Thai Navy team carrying out a boarding operation on RSS Endeavour. It was one of the main platforms for boarding operations in the exercise. Sailors from the Royal Australian Navy, Philippine Navy and Royal Thai Navy, boarded the RSS Endeavour.

Below, seamen from the Philippine Navy and the Royal Australian Navy conducting a boarding operation on RSS Endeavour. This took place at the inaugural ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus) Maritime Security Field Training Exercise.


Super Moderator
Staff member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #15
Working to Strengthen Disaster Relief Coordination (Part 1 of 4)

Video on Guards – Versatile and Potent

Sept 2014 - Minister for Defence, Dr. Ng Eng Hen, visited the Guards Formation at the Lim Chu Kang Live-Firing Area. During this visit, Dr Ng was updated on the SAF's latest capability developments in the area of Peace Support Operations. He also witnessed a demonstration of the SAF's drill to counter a vehicular ambush.

Dr Ng was given a hands-on experience with the SAF's Less-Lethal Weapons, firing foam projectile rounds from the Multiple Grenade Launcher and the Taser.

He also viewed a static display of equipment used in Peace Support Operations such as the Mobile Field Kitchen and Water Purification Unit and interacted with Guardsmen who participated in past SAF overseas deployments.

Better known for their heli-rapelling abilities, the Guardsmen are elite infantry soldiers who specialise in rapid deployment. Over the years, servicemen from the Guards Formation have taken part in over 20 peacetime missions, alongside other personnel in the SAF. These include the United Nations peace keeping operations in Timor Leste from 1999 to 2003, and, more recently, the reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan from 2007 to 2013. During his visit, Dr Ng was updated on the Guards Formation's latest peacetime capabilities.
<<Stepping Up, Helping Others, Saving Lives>>

Below, the devastation left behind by the Indian Ocean Tsunami in 2004.

Within this last decade, you would remember the Indian Ocean Tsunami, Cyclone Nargis, the Japan Tsunami and Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, Typhoon Haiyan, the Sichuan earthquake – and that’s not even the whole list. Our region is prone to disasters. The facts show that 70% of all natural disasters occur in the Asia-Pacific region.

Below, picking up the pieces - SAF personnel helping with reconstruction efforts following the Indian Ocean Tsunami in 2004.

When they do, tremendous and large-scale devastation takes place which often overwhelms the affected country’s ability to deal with the aftermath. All these experiences point to a need for a crisis coordination centre. In April this year, at the ASEAN-US Defence Ministers’ informal meeting, I informed my colleagues that Singapore would step up and play that role. The SAF would set up a 24/7 regional Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) crisis coordination centre at Changi.

Below, delivering supplies to an area in Meulaboh, devastated by the Indian Ocean Tsunami in 2004.

Why should Singapore play this role, one that requires commitment and resources? There are good reasons. First, we can make a difference to our region. We have a solid reputation for getting things done, and being a trusted information hub. As a developed nation, we should put in resources to help our neighbours. It will win us respect and goodwill. Second, each time a disaster strikes, the SAF would often need to deploy its resources together with other militaries. A crisis coordination centre would make our individual responses that much more effective. Third, and perhaps the simplest of reasons, is that we do this to save lives.

Today, we took another decisive step towards setting up the Changi Regional HADR Coordination Centre (RHCC) with the unveiling of the plaque. The Changi RHCC will be formally inaugurated next year. It will complement and work with existing organisations, both military and civilian. It is a good thing when Singaporeans from both the SAF and local NGOs, together with the global community, reach out to help neighbours in trouble.

- Ng Eng Hen​
Below, more than 100 officials from military forces, civilian agencies, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) gather to exchange ideas on HADR operations in Singapore.

12 September 2014 -- The Singapore Armed Forces and the United States' Centre for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance co-hosted a Regional Conference on "Building Civil-Military Capacity for Disaster Relief Operations" from 11 to 12 September 2014 in Singapore. The Conference provided an opportunity for over 100 senior representatives from regional militaries, national disaster focal points from ASEAN countries, United Nations agencies, non-governmental and private sector organisations to exchange lessons learned from recent disaster relief operations, as well as discuss the roles of militaries and how civil-military coordination could be further enhanced in Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) efforts.
Background to the September 2014 HADR Conference in Singapore

The Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance (CFE) was established by US congressional legislation in 1994 to enhance civil-military coordination in international disaster management response efforts and to advance disaster management and humanitarian assistance (DMHA) capability. The offers courses in a number of areas to improve civil military coordination and humanitarian assistance/disaster management capacity. Colonel Joseph D. Martin became the director for the Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance May 5, 2014. As director, Martin will oversee programming for CFE-DMHA, which serves as the coordinating authority for civil-military operations in disaster management and humanitarian assistance in the Asia-Pacific region.

Below, Dr Ng (second from right) and other ASEAN leaders meeting with US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel (far left) in April 2014, where an offer made by Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen (at the ASEAN-US Defence Ministers' Informal Meeting) to host a regional Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief centre in Singapore.

Speaking to the media ahead of SAF Day, Dr Ng said the recent Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines underlined the need for a Joint-Multi-Mission Ship (JMMS):

"A larger JMMS would be able to carry more helicopters or have more helicopters operating. When we responded to Typhoon Haiyan...basically, the typhoon was so devastating that comms and communication were knocked out. There was no centralised ability for command and control of the airspace. In that context, a ship like the JMMS would have been very useful."​
However, the centre should not simply respond when a crisis hits, he said. Instead, it should build networks – similar to United Nations agencies and voluntary welfare organisations – and pre-position them so that countries know where these resources are. While the Endurance Class have served the SAF well, a larger JMMS that would have greater capacity and greater range to respond. There will also be some equipping changes for last mile delivery by the Singapore Army, which I would assume means having a more capable watercraft than the existing LARC V.
Last edited:


Super Moderator
Staff member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #16
Working to Strengthen Disaster Relief Coordination (Part 2 of 4)

1. Changi Regional HADR Coordination Centre

Below, Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant-General Ng Chee Meng urges participants to foster deeper understanding to achieve greater interoperability in future HADR operations.

Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant-General Ng Chee Meng delivered the opening address for the conference on 11 September 2014, while Executive Director of the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre) Mr Said Faisal delivered a keynote address on "An ASEAN Perspective on Disaster Relief Operations" in the morning of 12 Sep 2014. Second Minister for Defence Mr Chan Chun Sing officiated at the closing ceremony of the Regional Conference.

ADMM Plus - HADR EWG: Three Pillars of HADR Coordination

HADR Coordination Pillar 1
(1) Swift Response (within the first 72 hours)
  • Immediate Damages and Needs Assessment: To enable the Govt. of affected country, or other assisting entities, to carry out damage and needs assessment of the affected areas immediately after the event.
  • Swift acceptance of foreign rescue unit including military where necessary: To enable the Govt. of affected country to make requests and accept foreign rescue units including military where appropriate.
(2) Lessons Learnt about short-comings (within the first 72 hours)
  • Lack of ability to gather information on damages and assistance needs.
  • Lack of joint operations posture and poor coordination between ministries and agencies.
  • Securing transportation capabilities (lack of facilities for takeoff and landing; lack of rapid transportation by boat; need to utilize civilian transportation)
  • Poor cooperation between assisting and affected countries;
    not ready to accept assistance (lack of established SOPs, or coordination mechanisms; legal issues and complex domestic procedures; language problems, etc.)

HADR Coordination Pillar 2
(3) Shared Assessment and Seamless Support (within the first 2 weeks)
  • Effective Storage, Delivery and Transportation Cycles based on shared needs on the ground: To enable the whole assisting entities to share the accurate needs on the ground, and to control accumulation, distribution, transportation, and arrangements of rescue materials.
  • Common Skills/Interoperability among ADMM Plus members: To share information on availability of assets from each country and informing available conditions for operations;
  • Developing an operations guide for coordination among each military in search and rescue activities, medical activities and medical evacuations.
(4) Lessons Learnt about short-comings (within the first two weeks)
  • The importance of acquiring rescue goods and maintaining supply‐chains.
  • The importance of cooperation and division of labor with the civilian sector and local governments in terms of life and medical assistance.
  • Issues concerning coordination among assisting countries (coordination mechanism, communication, languages, etc.)
  • The need for establishing an information communication network in affected areas.
  • The need for strengthening the system with regards to mental health care in the aftermath of a disaster.

HADR Coordination Pillar 3
(5) Smooth handover to reconstruction players (after the first 2 weeks)
  • Seamless Transition to Private Sector: To identify appropriate partners and hand-over military operation after the event to civilians and other reconstruction players without interruption.
(6) Lessons Learnt about short-comings (after the first two weeks)
  • The importance of needs assessment toward recovery.
  • The need to improve cooperation with NGOs and United Nations.
  • The importance of learning culture, languages and customs of local people.
  • The need for international standards of timing for withdrawal.


Below, speaker, Major General (MG) Jet B. Velarmino, Commander of 8th Division, Philippine Army, was involved in the Typhoon Haiyan HADR operation in 2013.

Southeast Asia is located in one of the most disaster-prone regions of the world and is exposed to almost all types of natural hazards, including tsunamis, earthquakes, floods, typhoons, cyclones, droughts, landslides, and volcanic eruptions, with notable major disasters, including the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami and 2008 Cyclone Nargis.

Since early days of ASEAN establishment, the Member States have initiated discussions on cooperation in disaster management. A remarkable step was taken in 2003, when the 10 ASEAN countries decided to establish the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management (ACDM). Further, on 26 July 2005 Foreign Ministers of ASEAN Member States signed the Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) in Vientiane, Lao PDR. AADMER aims to provide effective mechanisms to achieve substantial reduction of disaster losses in lives and in the social, economic and environmental assets of ASEAN member states, and to jointly respond to disaster emergencies through concerted national efforts and intensified regional and international cooperation. AADMER is the legal framework for all ASEAN Member States and serves as a common platform in responding to disasters within ASEAN.

AADMER mandated the establishment of ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre) as the engine for its operationalization. The AHA Centre was finally established on 17 November 2011, through the signing of the Agreement on the Establishment of AHA Centre by the ASEAN Foreign Ministers, witnessed by ASEAN Heads of States, during the 19th ASEAN Summit in Bali, Indonesia. The functions of AHA Centre are outlined in AADMER Annex on AHA Centre’s Terms of Reference.

ACDM: ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management
ACDFIM: ASEAN Chiefs of Defence Forces Informal Meeting
ADMM: ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting
ADMM-Plus: ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus eight specific countries
ARF: ASEAN Regional Forum
EAS: East Asia Summit
Below, Second Minister for Defence Mr Chan Chun Sing (right), accompanied by Director of Joint Operations Brigadier-General Desmond Tan (left), unveiling a plaque to mark the set up of the Changi Regional Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Coordination Centre or RHCC.

In his closing address, Mr Chan stressed the need to build disaster response capabilities in concrete and practical ways and to do more as a region to strengthen coordination among militaries for disaster response. In that vein, Mr Chan highlighted that the Changi Regional HADR Coordination Centre (Changi RHCC) hosted in Singapore hoped to contribute towards a more effective regional response to disasters by facilitating military-to-military coordination in disaster response. Mr Chan said, "The RHCC seeks to facilitate military-to-military coordination in disaster response, by supporting an Affected State's military in coordinating the foreign military assistance provided and liaising with disaster response stakeholders." In doing so, the RHCC would "seek to support and coordinate seamlessly with existing coordination mechanisms like the AHA Centre and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs."

Mr Chan noted that the RHCC sought to enhance information sharing and operational coordination among militaries in support of a multinational military response as follows:

firstly, in managing any crisis, making sense of the situation is the first and most crucial step, and disaster response is no different. The RHCC's OPERA command and control information system can take data from a wide range of sources, either open source or through partner agencies, or those collected by needs assessment teams, and then fuse it together and disseminate it to partner militaries. The OPERA system was deployed for the 18-nation ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting-Plus Exercise in Brunei last year, and feedback has been positive. But it is being enhanced further;

secondly, the RHCC enables information sharing for a multinational military response though International Liaison Officers (ILOs) with partner militaries. As with the IFC, or Information Fusion Centre, which currently has 15 ILOs from 14 countries attached, it is hoped that a good number of partner militaries attach ILOs to the RHCC to facilitate information sharing and operational coordination; and

thirdly, the RHCC is also able to deploy a mobile coordination unit into theatre within the first 48 hours of a disaster to support the Affected State's military in coordination efforts. This mobile unit can support the affected state's military in setting up a multinational coordination centre, including providing it and assisting militaries with access to the OPERA command and control information system to provide a common operating picture and enable tighter coordination.​
RHCC's concept of operations, or CONOPs will be "live" and will continually evolve as ongoing conversations and exchanges. This will be a challenging journey, and the RHCC's success is ultimately contingent on the support of partner militaries and other stakeholders. This includes partners coming on board to share information with the RHCC or deploying their officers as ILOs in the RHCC. On the sidelines of the post conference reception, Mr Chan also marked the commencement of the RHCC's initial operations at the Changi Command and Control Centre, with the unveiling of the RHCC logo. Mr Chan was also joined by conference speakers and participants for an inaugural tour of the RHCC, where representatives from the Singapore Armed Forces briefed the visitors on the RHCC's envisaged capabilities.

Above, Mr Chan (right) being briefed during a tour of the Changi RHCC. Singapore is home to over 100 local and International not-for-profit organisations, comprising inter-governmental organisations (IGOs), NGOs with a humanitarian focus, philanthropic foundations, think tanks, and corporate social responsibility (CSR) organisations.
<<Defence visit to Philippines>>

In the Philippines now, where I met my counterpart Secretary of National Defence Voltaire Gazmin at the Department of National Defense - Philippines. We discussed ways to maintain regional stability and address transnational security challenges including those posed by religious extremism. The Armed Forces of the Philippines has been involved in peacekeeping operations in Syria, so I asked about their experience there and the threats posed by ISIS. We also affirmed our desire to strengthen bilateral defence ties between our armed forces and step up multilateral cooperation in the region.

- Ng Eng Hen​
For participant Terry Sherwood, he hoped to gain deeper insights into how the military works in HADR operations. A regional security adviser of Plan, an NGO, he was involved in delivering temporary shelters to victims of Typhoon Haiyan. In the September 2014 conference in Singapore, Terry Sherwood said: "I am here to learn how the top-level military people work together to get those connections going, so that we can close the gaps earlier on, and work together more effectively in disaster operations." As rehabilitation and reconstruction of school buildings and facilities are under way in Haiyan-affected areas, Plan has set up temporary learning spaces in several public schools in Eastern Samar. Elementary and high school students will now have a better time studying in these learning spaces which are a lot safer than their damaged classrooms and more comfortable than studying inside tents.

<<Planning for Disasters>>

Philippines has the dubious honour of being very experienced in handling natural disasters; not because they wish it, but because their geography frequently exposes them to typhoons and erupting volcanoes. Many of the those I met during my visit kept saying how much they envied Singapore, which is sheltered from such devastation. We should indeed be thankful and use our stability to help others in the region who are more prone to being hit.

I visited the Philippine National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council or Ndrrmc Opcen and the officials there told me that it was good that Singapore set up the Changi Regional HADR Coordination Centre. Their experience shows that such a centre is needed and we are on the right track in forming partnerships. When disasters strike, there will always be more needs than resources and we will need all parties to work together to alleviate suffering and save lives.

- Ng Eng Hen​
There is a meeting of minds between Singapore and the Philippines on the need for a 24/7 regional coordination centre which fills the gap immediately after a disaster strikes, and the affected country's command and control systems are denigrated, if not wiped out. Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen said this at a media interview during his introductory visit to the Philippines from 24 to 26 Sep. He was referring to the recently-inaugurated Regional Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Centre (RHCC) in Changi, which was set up to provide a more effective response to disasters in the region, by facilitating military-to-military cooperation.

Dr Ng explained that when a disaster strikes, "there will never be enough hands on deck. There will always be short of resources, whether it's manpower or medical care or supplies that are needed. And the RHCC fills this gap in building up partnerships and relationships." More on the visit:

Above, Dr Ng (right) being briefed by Undersecretary Alexander P. Pama, Executive Director of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council Operations Center and Administrator of the Office of Civil Defense.
Last edited:


Super Moderator
Staff member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #17
Working to Strengthen Disaster Relief Coordination (Part 3 of 4)

2. Philippines and Singapore ties at heads of state level

Above, President Benigno S. Aquino III with President Tony Tan of Singapore during the press statement at the Reception Hall of the Malacañan, Palace (Photo credit: Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines). President Benigno S. Aquino III said:
Joint Press Statement with President Tony Tan Keng Yam 4/3/2014 - YouTube

"I am pleased to note that part of His Excellency’s itinerary is a visit to Basey, Western Samar, where he will present medical supplies to the Basey District Hospital, which is a joint rehabilitation project of the Singapore Red Cross and the International Committee of the Red Cross. Our government’s plan is to build back better, stronger, and more resilient communities, and the speedy rehabilitation of health service facilities in affected areas is key to these efforts. I have always said that we Filipinos never forget the kindness extended to us by friends—and I reiterate that now, as Singapore continues to lend a helping hand.

President Tan and I also discussed our countries’ defense and security cooperation, which includes high-level training, educational, and intelligence exchanges. The Philippines proposed the holding of a Defense Dialogue in order to further strengthen our cooperation. We also welcomed the opportunity to host this year’s Asian Defense and Security exhibition on July 16-18, 2014. I believe that strengthening defense and security cooperation between the Philippines and Singapore is key to maintaining regional stability."​
Below, is a video from the Singapore Red Cross Society, where it shows small hand operated water purifcation sets sent to the Philippines National Red Cross (PNRC) to provide clean water. In times of disaster where drinkable water is hard to find, these sets can be used to filter up to 500 litres of water from any available source of the moment. All it takes is a simple three minute process which involves using the handheld pump to convert muddy water to being clean and drinkable, without having to be boiled:- Singapore Red Cross - Water Purification Device - YouTube

Further, the U23 teams of the Philippines and Singapore faced-off in a charity match to raise funds for victims of Typhoon Haiyan. In April 2014, President Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam, Patron of the Singapore Red Cross (SRC), presented over S$7 million (PHP231,000,000) in donations to SRC partners for a swathe of recovery and rebuilding projects across Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) affected areas in Bantayan Island, Busuanga Island, Leyte, Ormoc, Panay Island, Samar and the Visayas.

3. Singapore NGOs at Work in the Region

In my opinion, Changi RHCC will enable like-minded non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and corporate social responsibility (CSR) organisations to grow the humanitarian sector operating from Singapore to serve the region. Therefore, it makes sense for:

(i) NGOs and CSR organisations (eg. Singapore’s Temasek Holdings announced in May 2007 that it set a S$500 million trust, named, Temasek Trust to aid Asian development - 4% of endowment funds will be used to support the Temasek Foundation and the projects it supports. The Temasek Foundation plans to help four key areas in Asia: healthcare, education, cultural exchange and disaster relief.);

(ii) to partner like-minded IGOs, governmental and commercial organisations (eg. ST Logistics, who enable NGOs to have surge capacity); and

(iii) the military to enhance their network.​

Changi RHCC will enable strategic collaborations to maintain fast response times at times of need. NGOs operating out of Singapore can have commercial arrangements in place to stockpile relief supplies (on a standby basis) to facilitate the fast delivery of relief supplies.

Above, a 2009 relief mission in West Java, Indonesia, where a 7.3 Richter earthquake struck. Assisting victims in their recovery and fight back to normalcy, Mercy Relief worked in close collaboration with local authorities and NGOs to procure, deliver and distribute much-needed relief supplies to badly-hit areas. — in Indonesia.

Above, a 2014 Mercy Relief mission in Yunnan, China. The Ludian earthquake struck Ludian County, Yunnan, China, with a moment magnitude of 6.1 on 3 August 2014. Assisting victims in their recovery and return to normalcy, Mercy Relief arranged for relief supplies to be sent to affected residents. — in China.

Above, an International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Philippine Red Cross (PRC) and Singapore Red Cross water filtration site. The ICRC and PRC water and sanitation personnel selected this site as it is next to a major fresh water source, water fall, and a trunk road. Water filtration hardware was installed to purify the water which is then stored in a variety of different sized water ‘bladders’ which vary in size from 5,000 lt to 15,000 litres. The RCRC water tankers then come to pick up and refill their trucks with 15,000 litres of potable water. Each tanker does this twice per day then drives to local communities and villages to fill easily accessible local water tanks. — in Philippines.

Above, Children play in the Pastrana Central School, where the roofs are visibly seen missing. — in Philippines.

(a) Aklan and Capiz municipalities, Panay
Population: 1.25 million
Cost: S$1.58 million (PHP56.04 million)
Partner: Philippine Red Cross (PRC)
  • Reconstruction and rehabilitation of educational and healthcare facilities in the northern region of Panay Island
  • Community based health and first aid, and disaster risk reduction activities in school
(b) Vasayas Region
Population: 1.25 million
Cost: S$908,000 (PHP32.21 million)
Partner: International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)
  • Reconstruction of 5 Rural Health Unites and 5 Barangay Health Stations
  • Provision of standard equipment, medicines and supplies to start up the operation of 10 supported health facilities, contributing to the overall goal of rehabilitating a total of 35 health facilities as part of the Philippine Red Cross’ Plan of Action
(c) Southern Districts, Samar
Population: 53,000
Cost: S$1.17 million (PHP41.79 million)
Partner: International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
  • Equipping Basey District Hospital’s Accident & Emergency department (e.g. defibrillator, cardiac monitor)
  • Rehabilitation of Basey District Hospital
  • Rehabilitation of Balangiga District Hospital
  • Rehabilitation of Balangiga Rural Health Unit
  • Rehabilitation/Reconstruction of 27 Barangay Health Stations/Centres
  • Repair of existing water schemes, installation of hand pumps and slow sand filters in 43 barangays in 4 municipalities – Basey, Marabut, Lawaan and Balangiga
(d) Bantayan Island, Cebu
Population: 150,000
Cost: S$553,000 (PHP19.60 million)
Partner: Anglican Crisis Relief Outreach and Support, Singapore (ACROSS)
  • Relief distribution across all 3 municipalities of Bantayan Island
  • Shelter kits for 6,800 most needy household, inclusive of heavy-duty and climate suitable zinc roofing sheets & umbrella nails
  • 6 heavy-duty water filtration systems + one-year operational costs, delivering water 12 hours a day
  • 15,000 jerry cans
(e) Busuanga Island, Palawan
Population: 21,000
Cost: S$800,000 (PHP28.36 million)
Partner: Life! Community Development (LCD)
  • Repairs and equipment for 1 maternity health and 3 Rural Health Stations
  • 1 land ambulance and 1 sea ambulance
  • Rehabilitation of 3 schools in 2 municipalities
  • Community water and irrigation systems in 3 barangays
  • Farmers’ Rice Cooperative – training 30 families in organic farming + enterprise development training for sale of the harvested rice + 1 demonstration farm
(f) Albuera, Leyte
Population: 40,000
Cost: S$300,000 (PHP10.63 million)
Partners: Julian Tan and Mayor of Albuera
  • Collaborative effort with Mr Julian Tan (former SAF commando) and local barangay authority
  • Rapid school compound construction solutions comprising pre-fabricated and modular buildings from WYNASEAN
  • School compound of 5 blocks – 3 blocks with 3 classrooms each, 1 vocational education block and 1 block for common amenities including offices
  • Equipment for vocational training block
  • Also serves as temporary emergency centre
(g) Dulag Municipality, Leyte
Population: 41,000
Cost: S$94,500 (PHP3.35 million)
Partner: Humanitarian Assistance Network for Disaster (HAND)
  • Shelter rehabilitation for 500 families in Dulag
(h) Pastrana and Tabon Tabon municipalities, Leyte
Population: 30,000
Cost: S$474,000 (PHP16.83 million)
Partner: Assisi Foundation
  • Repair of Municipal Health Center
  • Reconstruction of 33 classrooms in the elementary school
Tabon Tabon
  • Repair of health centre and maternal delivery building in 1 barangay
  • Repair of 3 Barangay Health Stations

During the emergency phase, the Singapore Red Cross:
  • Launched a public appeal to raise funds for relief efforts
  • Contributed S$200,000 for emergency relief supplies to the Philippine Red Cross for immediate distribution
  • Launched hotlines for ‘Restoring Family Links’ service to assist Singaporeans and Filipinos in locating their family members who may have been affected by the disaster, and with whom they have difficulty contacting
  • Deployed an advance relief team to Malapascua, Cebu and Barangay Mahayahay, Ormoc from 14 to 18 November, for assessments to pave the way for the next missions. They also helped with food and relief distribution to the affected population.
  • Mounted three medical relief missions to provide critical support at the San Pablo Health Centre Catchment Area, serving 20,000 people from 17 Barangays.
  • Conducted psychosocial support activities, such as art therapy, to help the children cope with their loss

The Basey District Hospital, which is located on top of a hill in Basey, suffered extensive damage from the devastating storm. This sole municipal hospital serves the municipalities of Basey and Marabut with a total population of about 70,000 people. Singapore Red Cross’ rehabilitation work at the Basey District Hospital started in February 2014 and is expected to be completed by end of May. Rebuilt at approximately 75,000 CHF, the Basey District Hospital rehabilitation project includes the following:
  • The demolition of the damaged walls
  • The construction of new columns
  • The replacement of entire roof
  • The construction of new ceilings and new partition walls
  • A new X-ray room
  • The rehabilitation of the isolation room and dietary section, staff accommodation, stock room, the toilets and septic tanks
  • Provision of some hospital equipment and consumables

Above, the Singapore Red Cross rebuilding after Typhoon Haiyan. — in Philippines.
Last edited:


Super Moderator
Staff member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #18
Working to Strengthen Disaster Relief Coordination (Part 4 of 4)

<<France sends Liaison Officer to RHCC>>

Met up with French Director for Strategic Affairs Mr Philippe Errera who is here for the annual bilateral dialogue between Perm Secs. France recognises the value of the Changi Regional Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Coordination Centre (RHCC) and has agreed to station a liaison officer at the RHCC. Encouraging move, as more partners around the World join the RHCC, to be better able to respond to emergencies. I thanked France for their support and discussed how we could collaborate further in defence technology, cyber defence and counter-terrorism to deepen defence ties, in keeping with the joint statement issued by both Ministries during my recent visit there.

- Ng Eng Hen​
3. Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) Manila Conference

The Philippines, together with Switzerland and the European Union hosted the ASEM Manila Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM), titled, Post-Haiyan - A Way Forward on 4 to 6 June 2014, in Manila. As Kristalina Georgieva, the EU Commissioner for international cooperation, humanitarian aid and crisis response said on 5 June 2014:

"I am proud that we in Europe are making a contribution to this recovery. Our people were so touched by what has happened here that in the days after the typhoon there was an outpour of solidarity, and which has continued up to now. Europe has collectively contributed one billion dollars. Remarkably almost 75 % of this is from private sources. And this people-to-people solidarity is what the world needs more of for the future to come.

I also thought yesterday that there is no better way to commemorate the victims and the heroes of super-typhoon Yolanda then by coming together to build more resilient societies everywhere we live. And there is no time to waste. Because of climate change disasters are more frequent and more severe. Because of population growth, urbanisation, environmental degradation when they hit more people are affected and there is more damage...

First, we have passed a new, very important legislation that makes risk assessment, preparedness and prevention mandatory for our countries. By 2016 all European Union Member States will know what exactly the threat to their citizens and economies is, how well equipped they are to deal with these threats and how to address them. And we will make investments in line with this philosophy of “prevention rather than cure”.

Second, we have turned around our development and humanitarian aid policies to integrate resilience as a key component. In countries that are most vulnerable we emphasize exactly on this: helping the countries and communities to better withstand shocks.

Third, we take international cooperation as the only way forward. No country is rich enough on its own to deal with this more difficult, fragile future. Even Japan, the best-prepared country in the world, was brought on its knees by the Great East Japan earthquake. And in this international cooperation we integrate five core principles.

1) Information – having good system to know what are the threats and how we can cope with them.

2) A very strong focus on results – how do we know whether our communities are more secure, how do we measure this impact in resilience?

3) Make sure that Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) is actually a contribution to growth - that it doesn't take but gives to our economies and to our societies.

4) Make sure that we focus on most vulnerable people: the children, the women, the elderly, and the handicapped. In any disaster 80 % of the victims come from the 20 % most vulnerable people.

5) Last, but not least, take the 2015 Sendai meeting on the post-Hyogo Framework for Action as a huge chance to set the world on a more sustainable course. And I am confident that the “Tacloban declaration” would feed straight into success in Sendai on 11th March next year."​

The ASEM Manila Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction and Management translates to action the collective commitment of ASEM Partners for greater collaboration and coordination in DRRM. In collaboration with key actors in the international DRRM community, ASEM Partners will examine the current state of play in this sector, study the link between climate change and the rise in disasters, re-examine the roles of DRRM actors, propose improvements and reform in DRRM policies and practices, where necessary, validate best practices, and consolidate proposals for a post-2015 global architecture on DRRM.
Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is the part of the United Nations Secretariat responsible for bringing together humanitarian actors to ensure a coherent response to emergencies. OCHA also ensures there is a framework within which each actor can contribute to the overall response effort.

OCHA's mission is to:
  • Mobilize and coordinate effective and principled humanitarian action in partnership with national and international actors in order to alleviate human suffering in disasters and emergencies.
  • Advocate the rights of people in need.
  • Promote preparedness and prevention.
  • Facilitate sustainable solutions.
OCHA's Strategic Framework ensures that OCHA delivers on its core mandate, while responding to contemporary global challenges. The three pillars of the Strategic Framework are:
1. Partnerships: broadening the coalition for multilateral humanitarian action
The scale and scope of global challenges requires working together in new ways, with new partners. Partnership has always been integral to OCHA's efforts. Sustained relations, built on trust and mutual respect, are vital when preparing for and responding to humanitarian emergencies. OCHA has a unique position within the international humanitarian system to convene and influence agendas. We will do this more strategically, with the aim of creating a more enabling environment for humanitarian action.

2. Service provider: building a better system
The expectations of OCHA have evolved since humanitarian reform. We will ensure that our services and support to partners also evolve and meet clients’ needs. We are focused on helping partners more predictably through humanitarian coordination leadership, strengthening coordination mechanisms, and improving the evidence base for humanitarian decision-making, planning and resource allocation.

3. Reliability and professionalism: creating better staffing and surge solutions to be there when it counts
OCHA replies on surge solutions to ensure the right people are on the ground immediately after a new disaster. This is coordinated with longer-term staffing to ensure continuity of OCHA presence.​

Above, SCDF Commissioner Eric Yap received United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Ms Valerie Amos at the Civil Defence Academy (CDA) on 10 July 2014. During her visit, Ms Amos also got to experience state-of-the-art computer-controlled simulators that allowed her to be a rescuer for a split second.
As Margareta Wahlstrom, Head of UNISDR, at the opening ceremony of the ASEM Conference in Manila, said:

"Existing patterns indicate that exposure of people and assets in both higher and lower-income countries has increased faster than vulnerability has decreased, thus generating new risk and a steadily increase in socio-economic losses. The on-going creation of new risk coupled with the existing risk, requires continued efforts in reducing vulnerability. Many governments are now faced with increasing levels of contingent liability and sovereign risk.

This vicious cycle can be interrupted with a combined approach aiming to prevent future risk creation, reduce existing levels of risk, and strengthen socio and economic resilience, targeting both the public and private sectors. In summary, the next “Plan of Action” will therefore require three mutually-supportive goals:

1. Preventing the creation of new risk by the adoption of risk-informed growth and development pathways

2. Reducing existing risk

3. Strengthening resilience by socio and economic measures that enable countries and people to absorb loss, minimize impact and recover.​

Based on the above, it is now clear that the post-2015 framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) needs to:

- Incorporate the prevention of new risk creation and reduction of existing risk as a component of sustainable development and in integrate this in governance.

- Promote the full engagement and empowerment of local communities, leaders, and administrators and the respect of local and indigenous knowledge with the understanding that while the causes and consequences of risk may be national, trans-boundary or global in scope, disaster risks have local and specific characteristics

- Promote all-of-society engagement and empowerment, effective equality, inclusion and non-discriminatory participation, and assumption of responsibility by all stakeholders for preventing new risk creation and reducing existing risks

- Promote aligned and clear responsibilities and action across private stakeholders and all public institutions, including the executive and legislative branches, at local and central level are indispensable for effective disaster risk management, and to coherently monitor and review progress.

- Promote the development of freely available, publicly accessible science-based risk information, to promote risk informed decision-making.

- Realize that preventing new and reducing existing risk of disaster constitute an international legal duty aimed at protecting persons, their livelihoods and property, while respecting their human rights."​
Singaporean Chinooks at Hurricane Katrina Relief Operations

Deemed as one of the worst natural disasters in America's history, Hurricane Katrina tore through the southern states of Louisiana and Mississippi on 29 Aug, killing over a thousand people and wrecking countless homes.The low-lying bowl-shaped city of New Orleans was especially vulnerable. Everyone's worst fears materialised when the 5m-high bank of protective levees keeping the waters of Lake Pontchartrain out of the coastal city buckled under the onslaught of lashing winds and strong surf, resulting in a massive surge of water gushing into the city.

The US Federal Emergency Management Agency, through the National Guard, approached the Republic of Singapore Air Force's (RSAF) Peace Prairie Detachment in Texas, to help out in humanitarian assistance and relief efforts. The RSAF responded promptly, with three CH-47 Chinook helicopters arriving at Fort Polk, Louisiana, on the afternoon of 1 Sep (local time). Another helicopter joined in four days later.

RSAF Chinooks from the Peace Prairie Detachment in Texas taking part in the humanitarian assistance operations after Hurricane Katrina left a trail of destruction in Louisiana and Mississippi on 29 Aug 2005. The Chinooks flew more than 80 sorties and transported over 800 evacuees and security personnel during the operations.

An RSAF air crew member keeps a watchful eye on the Chinook's cargo as the helicopter airlifts sandbags to help mend the levees in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The RSAF's Chinooks airlifted 540 tonnes of equipment, humanitarian supplies and sand during the relief operations.

A member of the RSAF Peace Prairie Detachment waits for the right moment before releasing the Chinooks cargo of sandbags over damaged levees during the Hurricane Katrina relief operations. The team in Texas had responded to the disaster promptly and arrived at Fort Polk, Louisiana, on 1 Sept 2005, after the hurricane tore through Louisiana and Mississippi on 29 Aug.
Last edited:


Super Moderator
Staff member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #19
<<Fighting Terrorism For Liberty>>

Every generation, it seems, has to fight terrorism to preserve our way of life. For our founding generation, the Communists used subversive and violent methods, even targeted assassinations, to advance their cause. Our pioneers refused to be cowed and fought back. During the Konfrontasi, saboteurs from Indonesia were sent to Singapore and Malaysia. The MacDonald House bombing killed and maimed innocent civilians. A memorial will be erected there to remind us of those events. If our pioneers had been intimidated into submission and given in then, we would not enjoy today’s progress and prosperity.

Below, Permanent Secretary for Defence Chan Yeng Kit (blue tie) with representatives from the ADMM-Plus EWG-CT.

For this generation, it’s been more than a decade since 9/11, but the threat of terrorism from religious extremists is still clear and present. The atrocities committed by ISIS in Iraq and Syria underscore this. There is also the real fear that multinationals who join them will return to their home countries to commit terrorist acts.

At home, because of the good work of MHA officers, we apprehended the Jemaah Islamiyah cell members before they could carry out their plans to bomb parts of Singapore. This prevented many deaths and much suffering. But the battle against terrorists needs to be a multilateral effort. To do our part, Singapore is co-chairing the ADMM*-Plus Experts’ Working Group on Counter-Terrorism (EWG-CT) with Australia. We are hosting the first meeting here today to facilitate expert-level exchanges and practical cooperation. We must persevere in our efforts, together with other countries, against the scourge of terrorism to protect our future.

- Ng Eng Hen​
Opening Remarks by Mr Chan Yeng Kit, Permanent Secretary (Defence), at the 4th ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting-Plus Experts' Working Group on Counter-Terrorism[/B]

Co-Chairs of the ADMM-Plus Experts’ Working Group on Counter-Terrorism (EWG-CT), COL Richard Campbell and COL Simon Lim,

Delegates to the 4th EWG-CT meeting,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Welcome to Singapore and good morning to all of you.

Singapore is pleased to co-chair the EWG-CT with Australia and to host our first meeting as the new co-chairs of this EWG. First, I wish to commend Indonesia and the US for their excellent work as previous co-chairs of the EWG-CT. I would also like to congratulate the US and Indonesia for the success of the ADMM-Plus CT Exercise hosted by Indonesia in September last year. With both countries having set high standards for forging practical cooperation, Singapore and Australia aim to sustain this momentum with our future activities.

Practical cooperation remains a key focus of our co-chairmanship of the EWG-CT. It is one of two key thrusts for the ADMM-Plus - the other being strategic dialogue. The ADMM-Plus Ministers gave strong endorsement to the work undertaken by the EWGs when they met in Brunei last year. Practical cooperation builds trust and confidence amongst our militaries and lays the foundation for the ADMM-Plus to make further progress in addressing security challenges of common concern. The EWGs have done very good work so far. Over the past three years, the EWGs have not only provided a valuable platform for expert-level exchanges, but also for practical activities. The EWGs have conducted three table top exercises and three field training exercises. This includes the highly successful ADMM-Plus HADR/Military Medicine (MM) Exercise hosted by Brunei in June of last year. The EWGs will continue to form an important pillar of the ADMM-Plus and lead the way in practical cooperation. In this regard, I am encouraged that the ADSOM-Plus this year adopted six new workplans, each one looking to build upon the good work the previous co-chairs have achieved.

Global and regional terrorism, including the threat posed by the so-called "Islamic State in Iraq and Syria", will galvanise the work of the EWG-CT. Militaries will have to be alert and ready to respond to this growing threat. In the EWG-CT, ADMM-Plus militaries and defence establishments have a platform to exchange views and share best practices and lessons learnt, which will enhance our region's capacity to respond to emerging terrorist threats. Beyond this, it is important that the EWG translates such constructive exchanges into practical action.

Hence, a key deliverable for EWG-CT, we are working closely with the EWG on Maritime Security (MS) to jointly organise the ADMM-Plus CT/MS - Counter-Terrorism and Maritime Security - Exercise. South East Asia is an important maritime region, where key Sea Lines of Communication converge. The Straits of Malacca and Singapore (SOMS), and the South China Sea (SCS) account for half of the world's shipping by tonnage, as well as half of the world's oil tanker traffic. Armed robbery and piracy incidents in these two areas remain a persistent issue. These cannot be underestimated. If we are vulnerable to such incidents at sea, terrorists will eventually exploit these weaknesses. The damage that could be dealt by terrorists at sea would come at great cost to the region.

As the scale and complexity of such threats grow, so must our efforts to counter these threats. The EWG-CT and EWG-MS have thus received strong endorsement from ADMM-Plus Senior Officials to plan and conduct an ADMM-Plus CT/MS exercise in 2016. The combined efforts of the two EWGs will also reflect the desire for the ADMM-Plus to tackle more complex security challenges in the coming years.

The EWG-CT's work for the next three years formally begins today, although I know that a lot of work has gone on before today. The agenda for the plenary and various breakout sessions will set the tone and direction for CT cooperation over the next few years. The EWG-CT has set ambitious but meaningful targets. I would like to encourage all EWG-CT members to give the co-chairs, COL Richard Campbell, Deputy Special Operations Commander from the Australian Defence Force, and COL Simon Lim, Commander Special Operations Task Force, Singapore Armed Forces, your fullest support.

To conclude, I wish all delegates a successful and meaningful meeting ahead, with plenty of sharing and plenty of learning. Thank you very much.
Last edited: