First PASSEX between MSRF and USCG

09 Sep 22

Our Sentinel-class Maritime and Security Response Vessel (MSRV) Bastion conducted a passage exercise (PASSEX) with United States Coast Guard Legend-class cutter USCGC Midgett within international waters in the southern reaches of the South China Sea.

Held on 7 to 8 Sep, this is the first PASSEX between our Maritime Security and Response Flotilla (MSRF) and the United States Coast Guard (USCG). Both ships conducted a series of communication exercise serials and transited in company towards Singapore.

During the PASSEX, both ships conducted a publication exercise where our communication systems experts sent coded signals to USCGC Midgett, and in turn responded to their coded signals.

"CO Sir, OOW Ma'am – signal awaiting execution!"

Bastion's Navigation Officer (right foreground) reporting on the recommended actions to take up position (also referred to in the Navy as "station") during a manoeuvring exercise for the PASSEX. 

Another communication exercise that both ships conducted was a flashing exercise where we took turns to transmit messages in Morse code. Here, a communication systems expert operates the signal lantern to send a message for USCGC Midgett's personnel to respond. 

Both ships also conducted a vessel-of-interest tracking exercise where they monitored the movement of merchant ships in the area to safeguard maritime security in Singapore Strait.

Commanding Officer MSRV Bastion MAJ Cheh Guo Jun (center) welcoming sea riders from USCGC Midgett on board.

Exchanging sea riders gives both ships an excellent opportunity to share about our cultures and learn about each other's unique practices. We are definitely honoured to host our friends from USCGC Midgett on board MSRV Bastion!

Similarly, crew from MSRV Bastion went on board USCGC Midgett as part of the sea rider exchange. Sharing about his experience, Weapon Control Systems Supervisor ME2 Benjamin Lim (embarking Bastion's starboard side) said "It was an eye-opening experience to sail on board USCGC Midgett's Long Range Interceptor cutter boat, and to see their Sikorsky MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter take off and land. Grateful to their friendly crew for hosting us!"

Lieutenant Junior Grade Behne (left) from USCGC Midgett presenting a token of appreciation to Commanding Officer MSRV Bastion MAJ Cheh Guo Jun (right).

It was a great experience to exercise together and we look forward to continued cooperation together. 

Wishing our friends from USCGC Midgett - 'Fair Winds & Following Seas'!

Photos courtesy of CPT Chua Cheng Ying, CPT Yong Hee Jay, LTA Mirabelle Goh, ME1 Gabriel Choy, and ME1 Charlton Tan from MSRV Bastion.