The Republic of Singapore Navy RSN and People’s Liberation Army-Navy (PLA-N) are currently undergoing a series of drills named Exercise Maritime Cooperation from April 28 to May 1.
The opening ceremony of the exercise was held at RSS Singapura – Changi Naval Base, jointly by RSN’s Commander First Flotilla Colonel Ng Kok Yeng Daniel and People’s Liberation Army-Navy’s (PLA-N) Chief of Staff of Destroyer Flotilla Senior Captain Mei Leyang
This year’s Exercise Maritime Cooperation is the second in the series since its inauguration in 2015. The exercise consists of a shore phase in RSS Singapura – Changi Naval Base (CNB), and a sea phase in the southern reaches of the South China Sea within international waters.
the exercise involves the RSN’s Formidable-class frigate RSS Intrepid, Bedok-class mine countermeasure vessel RSS Punggol, and the PLA-N’s Jiangkai II-class frigate, Yulin and Wozang-class minesweeper, Chibi.
During the shore phase, personnel from both navies will engage in joint planning exercises, professional exchanges and combined training at the Damage Control Trainer.
Meanwhile, for the sea phase, the ships will conduct a range of serials, including helicopter cross deck landing with the PLA(N) helicopter landing on the RSS Intrepid, gunnery firing, replenishment-at-sea approaches, search and rescue, simulated minefield transits, as well as communication and manoeuvring exercises.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Colonel Ng said, “The RSN conducts regular bilateral and multilateral exercises with foreign navies, and Exercise Maritime Cooperation 2023 allows the RSN and the PLA(N) to strengthen mutual trust, understanding, and cooperation. It also enhances our bilateral relationship and people-to-people ties.” Senior Captain Mei Leyang also said that this exercise aims to “further deepen friendship, expand consensus and promote the continuous forward development of the two navies.”
The exercise underscores the warm and friendly bilateral defence relations between Singapore and China, and enhances mutual trust and understanding between the Singapore Armed Forces and PLA. Besides bilateral exercises, the two armed forces also interact regularly through high-level exchanges, mutual visits, cross-attendance of courses and port calls.—shp/adj/aaa (Image: Singapore MINDEF)