Permanent Secretary (Defence) Mr Chan Heng Kee and United States (US) Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Ms Sasha Baker co-chaired the 13th Singapore-US Strategic Security Policy Dialogue (SSPD) at the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) today. The SSPD was established under the ambit of the 2005 Strategic Framework Agreement and Defence Cooperation Agreement between the US and Singapore as an institutionalised platform for both countries' defence establishments to set the strategic direction for the Singapore-US bilateral defence relationship.
During the dialogue, Mr Chan and Ms Baker reaffirmed the excellent and long-standing bilateral defence relationship between Singapore and the US. They discussed ways to strengthen the mutually beneficial partnership between both countries through Singapore's support for the US' regional presence under the ambit of the 1990 Memorandum of Understanding Regarding the US Use of Facilities ("1990 MOU"), and the US' support for the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF)'s overseas training and technology access, including the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF)'s F-35 acquisition. Mr Chan and Ms Baker also discussed new areas of cooperation, such as in cybersecurity, and in critical and emerging technologies. Both sides also exchanged views on regional developments and reaffirmed the importance of the US' continued engagement of the region, including through the ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting (ADMM)-Plus framework.
As part of her visit, Ms Baker also called on Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen and Permanent Secretary (Defence Development) Mr Melvyn Ong today. In addition to high-level dialogues like the SSPD, Singapore and the US interact regularly through bilateral and multilateral training exercises such as Exercise Tiger Balm, Exercise Pacific Griffin, Exercise Commando Sling, Exercise Red Flag, and Exercise Super Garuda Shield; professional exchanges; and defence technology cooperation. The US has also provided long-standing support for the SAF's overseas training in the US such as Exercise Forging Sabre, which is conducted at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, US. In April 2023, two of the RSAF's three detachments – Peace Carvin II (F-16 fighter aircraft) and Peace Vanguard (Apache AH-64 helicopters) – celebrated their 30th and 20th anniversaries of training in the US, respectively.