Singapore Defence Leadership Visit U.S. Navy Ships During IMDEX 2015
CHANGI NAVAL BASE, Singapore-- Singapore's Minister for Defence, Dr. Ng Eng Hen, visited guided-missile destroyer USS Mustin (DDG 89), while Lieutenant-General Ng Chee Meng, Chief of Defence Force, visited the littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) May 19 as part of the International Maritime Defence Exposition (IMDEX) 2015.
U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Singapore, Kirk Wagar, Rear Adm. Charlie Williams, commander, Logistics Group Western Pacific, and Capt. Fred Kacher, commodore, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7 accompanied both leaders during their individual ship visits.
“As a maritime nation, what happens on the seas around Singapore, affects us intimately. To address challenges such as potential terrorist acts, piracy, human trafficking, illegal arms and drugs trade, we will need the collective efforts of the global community. This is what the International Maritime Defence Exhibition (IMDEX) Asia, now in its 10th year, hopes to facilitate,” said Ng in a post to his Facebook page following his remarks at the IMDEX opening ceremony.
The biennial IMDEX Asia was first organized in 1997 and provides an international venue to showcase the latest developments in maritime defense technology and to foster dialogue on contemporary maritime security challenges and opportunities.
"It was a honor to visit the officers and crews of the USS Fort Worth and USS Mustin today and a privilege to greet my good friend, Singapore Minister of Defence Dr. Ng Eng Hen on board Mustin," said U.S. Ambassador to Singapore, Kirk Wagar. "Both of these ships are tangible symbols of America's rebalance to the Asia-Pacific. Their participation during Singapore's IMDEX alongside so many allies and partners is yet another example of our enduring relationships in this region. As the second Littoral Combat Ship to deploy rotationally as part of the LCS-to-Singapore initiative, Fort Worth in particular speaks to our longstanding partnership with Singapore and our shared commitment to maritime security."
Senior leaders and representatives from maritime services in 40 countries are attending IMDEX 2015, along with several thousand trade show visitors. Joining the U.S. Navy ships at Changi Naval Base are 20 foreign warships from 12 navies.
“Welcoming our Singaporean friends on board two U.S. Navy warships moored here for IMDEX -- a littoral combat ship and a guided-missile destroyer -- was a great way to showcase our partnership on the waterfront,” said Williams.
In addition to Mustin, which is embarked with two MH-60R helicopters, and Fort Worth, embarked with one MH-60R helicopter and one MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned aerial system, the Los Angeles class fast-attack submarine USS Pasadena (SSN 752) is also participating in static displays at Singapore’s Changi Naval Base.
Fort Worth is on a 16-month rotational deployment and is the second LCS to deploy to U.S. 7th Fleet as part of an initiative to simultaneously deploy up to four LCS in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region by later this decade. Mustin, forward-deployed to Yokosuka, Japan, is on patrol in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility. Pasadena, homeported in San Diego, is currently on deployment to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
The U.S. 7th Fleet conducts forward-deployed naval operations in support of U.S. national interests in the Indo-Asia-Pacific area of operations. As the U.S. Navy's largest numbered fleet, U.S. 7th Fleet interacts with 35 other maritime nations to build partnerships that foster maritime security, promote stability and prevent conflict.