Commanders of the Task Groups for the exercise, the RSN’s Colonel Ken Cheong (right) and the PLA(N)’s Senior Captain Zhang Ming Qiang (left), exchanging plaques during the Closing Ceremony onboard RSS Intrepid.
The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) and the People’s Liberation Army (Navy) (PLA[N]) concluded the inaugural Exercise Maritime Cooperation, a new bilateral naval exercise series, earlier today. The four-day exercise, which took place on 20 May and 23 to 25 May 2015, involved the RSN’s Formidable-class frigate (RSS Intrepid) and Victory-class missile corvette (RSS Valiant), as well as the PLA(N)’s Jiangkai II-class frigate (Yulin).
The exercise comprised conventional naval warfare serials such as gunnery firings and manoeuvring drills. Personnel from the two navies also engaged in exercise planning and combined simulator training ashore.
Speaking at the opening ceremony on 20 May 2015, RSN Fleet Commander Colonel (COL) Lew Chuen Hong highlighted the growth in professional interactions between the two navies. He said “[both navies can] learn from each other and deepen professional knowledge to strengthen mutual trust and understanding.” The ceremony was co-officiated by COL Lew and PLA(N) Commander South Sea Fleet Rear Admiral (RADM) Shen Jinlong. RADM Shen added, “Exercise Maritime Cooperation reflects our common goals and beliefs, and is a new achievement of the exchanges and interactions between both our navies.”
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of Singapore-China diplomatic ties. Exercise Maritime Cooperation is a milestone in the bilateral defence relationship, and maintains the positive momentum achieved under the Four-Point Consensus agreed between Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen and Chinese Minister of National Defense General Chang Wanquan during Dr Ng’s visit to China in November 2014.
The introduction of this new bilateral naval exercise series underscores the warm and growing ties between the two countries. Such exercises promote mutual trust, enhance the interoperability between the RSN and PLA(N), and also provide good opportunities to deepen people-to-people ties and friendship.