US Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Michèle Flournoy and Permanent Secretary for Defence Chiang Chie Foo co-chaired the fourth US-Singapore Strategic Security Policy Dialogue today at the Ministry of Defence in Singapore. Under Secretary Flournoy and Permanent Secretary Chiang reaffirmed the longstanding and excellent bilateral US-Singapore defence relationship. The discussions focused on the importance of the US' commitment to the region, and the need to continue the close cooperation in addressing transnational security threats. The dialogue also examined ways to further strengthen and expand the bilateral defence relationship.
Since its signing in 2005, the Strategic Framework Agreement (SFA) has provided the foundation for broad-based defence cooperation across a wide range of areas including policy engagement, military operations and technology. The SFA underscores the two countries' continuing belief that a strong US security presence in the region promotes peace and stability. Under Secretary Flournoy and Permanent Secretary Chiang were pleased to note that much progress has been made in bilateral defence ties since 2005.
This year also marks the 20th anniversary of the Memorandum of Understanding the United States and Singapore signed in 1990. The MOU and its 1998 addendum allows US Armed Forces, aircraft and vessels access to military facilities in Singapore, including the berthing of US Navy deep draft vessels at Changi Naval Base. The US and Singapore militaries train together regularly and participate in joint military exercises. The US has provided strong support for Singapore's military training detachments stationed in the United States, such as Singapore's F-15, F-16, Apache, Chinook and naval helicopter units. The opportunity to train in sophisticated ranges and alongside US forces has strengthened the operational readiness and capability of the Singapore Armed Forces. There has also been substantive defence technology cooperation, including cooperation in research and development. The United States and Singapore are also working together on stabilisation and reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan and counter-piracy in the Gulf of Aden. Singapore is also part of the US-led Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) and plays an active role by working closely with the US and other PSI partners to prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction. During her visit, Under Secretary Flournoy will also meet with Prime Minister Lee, as well as with Acting Minister for Defence, Dr. Ng Eng Hen on 22 April.