Strengthening Multilateral Cooperation at the 15th ASEAN Navy Chiefs' Meeting

11 Aug 21

Our Chief of Navy RADM Aaron Beng participated in the 15th ASEAN Navy Chiefs' Meeting (ANCM) held virtually on 11 Aug 21. The theme of this year's meeting is "Blue Economy: We Care, We Prepare, We Prosper" and was chaired by the Royal Brunei Navy. Recognising the importance of the sea in driving economies, participants were invited to share their views on how countries and navies could work together to overcome the various challenges in the maritime domain. 

In his viewpoint exchange, RADM Beng highlighted how even though the COVID-19 pandemic has had a substantial impact on the world, it has also served to remind everyone on the criticality of the maritime commons.

"The sea remains an essential conduit for supplies. We must keep our SLOCs free-flowing, without tensions and risks of disruption. Despite the pandemic, we have seen how threats at sea have not diminished. They have in fact increased. It brought into sharp contrast how many of our borders in Southeast Asia are maritime."

RADM Beng further stressed that, "As our region hunkers down to manage the pandemic, efforts to prevent such maritime threats are slowing. We must continue to build trust, share information and work together to tackle these maritime security threats."

These sentiments were also echoed by the meeting. 

In addition, Head of Singapore's Information Fusion Centre (IFC), LTC Lester Yong highlighted it was encouraging that navies continued to strengthened cooperation and exchanged information through the International Liaison Officers (ILOs) attached at IFC during the Maritime Security Appreciation Brief. This brief is co-produced by the ASEAN ILOs and provides an overview of key maritime security trends for January to July 2021.

LTC Yong (center), with the ASEAN ILOs, as he was presenting the Maritime Security Appreciation Brief virtually.

LTC Yong (center), with the ASEAN ILOs, as he was presenting the Maritime Security Appreciation Brief virtually.

During the meeting, the navies present also reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen cooperation and collaboration through efforts such as information sharing, as well as bilateral and multilateral exercises.

Photos courtesy of Ang Choon Beng, Benson Yeo, Chong De Xian and Arron Koh.