The inter-connected world today presents both opportunities and challenges. Consequently, the maritime security challenges faced by our countries are more complex and trans-boundary in nature. The threat is real, and it is no longer an issue of "if" but "when". There is a need for various stakeholders to come together and collaborate. Maritime agencies are uniquely poised to spearhead national and
international maritime security and safety efforts. Cooperation between navies, coast guards, other maritime agencies and the shipping community will be the key to offering a more effective operational response to the challenges we face.
The growing realisation is that collaborative information sharing at the national and international levels provide compelling value propositions for all. However, there are challenges to overcome. One way to forge closer information sharing collaboration is to adopt a willing-partner "building block" approach, with interested stakeholders coming together to forge bilateral and multilateral intra-regional information sharing networks.
In the Asia-Pacific, the Information Fusion Centre (lFC) was established to be the regional maritime information hub, to enhance maritime situation awareness and provide early warning triggers and actionable information to cue timely regional responses. Established in April 2009, the IFC has demonstrated the high utility of information sharing cooperation. The integrated team comprising both International Liaison Officers (ILOs) and RSN personnel has together worked well to facilitate and
catalyse maritime information sharing and collective sense-making.
The various articles contributed in this supplement provide valuable perspectives of the individual ILO countries, allowing us to see the commonalities in enforcing maritime security. It also reinforces the fact that all stakeholders have a role to play. Through this edition of the SAF POINTER Supplement, I hope that readers will benefit and better understand the nature of maritime security, and the critical and enabling role of information sharing cooperation today.
RADM Chew Men Leong,
Chief of Navy