Chief of Navy, RADM Aaron Beng, at the US 24th International Seapower Symposium
Our Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral Aaron Beng, joined more than 140 delegates, including heads of navies and coast guards from more than 100 nations at U.S. Naval War College in Rhode Island, US from 14-17 September 2021 for the 24th International Seapower Symposium.
At the symposium, RADM Beng spoke on how impact of COVID-19 on navies and maritime security, and reiterated the need for navies and maritime agencies to continue to work together. "While the bulk of the global attention is on COVID-19 and its direct impact on shipping, we also see that other long-terms threats to safe and secure seas continue." He added, "In Southeast Asia, we have seen how the pandemic has exacerbated piracy, smuggling and trans-border illegal migration. Navies and coast guards must redouble our efforts and keep up cooperation in combating maritime security threats."
During his visit to the United States, RADM Beng also called on US Secretary of the Navy, Mr Carlos Del Toro.
Chief of Navy, RADM Aaron Beng, Speaks at the 4th International Maritime Security Symposium (IMSS) Organised by the TNI AL
This morning, Chief of Navy, RADM Aaron Beng spoke at the 4th International Maritime Security Symposium (IMSS) organised by the TNI AL and attended by Chiefs and representatives from 25 navies.
RADM Beng's speech, titled "A Blueprint to Strengthen Information-Sharing to Enhance Regional Maritime Security", touched on the increasing complexities of maritime threats such as terrorism and piracy, especially during the pandemic, and suggested ways to improve information sharing for greater regional maritime security cooperation. This included (a) enhancing technology and infrastructure to make information-sharing secure, convenient, and useful, (b) strengthening operational linkages of existing information-sharing mechanisms beyond traditional maritime enforcement agencies, and (c) enhancing trust amongst like-minded partners.
On behalf of KASAL ADM Yudo Margono and the TNI AL, the Indonesian Defence Attaché to Singapore KOL Benny Arfan presented a token of appreciation to RADM Aaron Beng at MINDEF after the session.
Building Collective Resilience Between Navies
On 15 Jul 2021, Chief of Navy RADM Aaron Beng participated in the 4th Indo-Pacific Multilateral Maritime Virtual Key Leaders Engagement (KLE), alongside 13 other navies. Hosted by Commander Pacific Fleet (COMPACFLT) ADM Samuel Paparo, commanders spoke on how they looked forward to resuming physical interactions as COVID-19 pandemic comes under control, to maintain the personal relationships and mutual trust amongst navies.
Building Understanding for Maritime Cooperation
Our Chief of Navy RADM Aaron Beng joined navies from Asia, Europe and Middle East for the 7th Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) via video-teleconference. Hosted by the French Navy from 29 Jun to 1 Jul 2021, the conference saw discussions on how maritime cooperation could be enhanced in the Indian Ocean region, in the areas of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, maritime security, and information sharing and interoperability. Our Head of the Information Fusion Centre (IFC), LTC Lester Yong, also delivered a presentation on "Maritime Security Information Sharing and Cooperation", where he highlighted how IFC continues to work with key partners to facilitate information sharing and cooperation to enhance maritime security, despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Introductory Call by German Navy Chief
Our Chief of Navy RADM Aaron Beng and the Chief of German Navy VADM Kay-Achim Schönbach conducted their introductory meeting via video-teleconference on 25 May 2021. The two leaders reaffirmed the growing bilateral relationship between both navies. Both navy chiefs discussed ways to strengthen the bilateral relations and deepen cooperation in areas of mutual interest.
Both navies regularly interact through high-level visits and dialogues, professional exchanges on submarine training, and cross-attendance of courses. Since Feb 2020, the German Navy also attached an International Liaison Officer to Singapore's Information Fusion Centre. These interactions enhance interoperability and foster mutual understanding between the two navies.
Reaffirming Close Ties with Indonesian Navy
On 21 May 2021, our Commander Maritime Security (MARSEC) Command/MARSEC Task Force, RADM Yong Wei Hsiung [top left], met the Indonesian Navy's Commander First Fleet (PANG KOARMADA 1), RADM Abdul Rasyid Kacong [top right], for the first time, over video teleconference.
In the teleconference, both leaders reaffirmed the strong ties forged and discussed ways to enhance the cooperation between the two navies. One of the approaches discussed was on ways to tightened information-sharing between the two navies, so that maritime security operations can be conducted more effectively.
Maintaining Warm Relations with the Philippines
Our Chief of Navy RADM Aaron Beng and the Chief of Navy Philippine Navy VADM Giovanni Carlo J Bacordo conducted their introductory meeting via video teleconference today. The meeting underscored the warm and good bilateral relationship between the two ASEAN navies. Both navy chiefs spoke on ways to strengthen bilateral relations and deepen mutual understanding between the two navies. They also discussed means to enhance maritime security cooperation through the attached International Liaison Officer in Singapore's Information Fusion Centre!
Strengthening Relations and Cooperation Between Navies
Our Chief of Navy RADM Aaron Beng and the Commander of the People's Liberation Army (Navy) (PLAN) ADM Shen Jinlong had an introductory call over video teleconference this morning.
The two leaders reaffirmed the warm and friendly relations between both navies. Both navy chiefs also discussed ways to strengthen friendships and enhance mutual understanding, including cooperation in areas of mutual interest.
Earlier in February, a passage exercise was conducted between RSN and PLAN ships in the southern reaches of the South China Sea within international waters – testament to the good relations established. We look forward to meeting up with our Chinese friends at the International Maritime Security Conference in July and future naval exercises at sea!
Affirming Warm Ties
Our Chief of Navy RADM Aaron Beng and the Chief of the Royal Malaysian Navy ADM Tan Sri Mohd Reza bin Mohd Sany spoke over a teleconference this afternoon and reaffirmed the warm and long-standing bilateral relationship between our navies. Both navy chiefs also committed to strengthening cooperation through bilateral Exercise Malapura and multilateral architecture such as the Five Power Defence Arrangements.
Reaffirming Ties with a Close Partner
Our Chief of Navy RADM Aaron Beng and the Chief of the Indonesian Navy (KASAL) ADM Yudo Margono reaffirmed mutual commitment to strengthen cooperation and enhance interoperability between both navies over a video teleconference call earlier today. The call included a virtual gift exchange.
During the call, RADM Beng and ADM Yudo expressed mutual appreciation that both navies continued to work closely together to ensure maritime security in our region, despite the challenges posed by COVID-19. Our ships also conducted a passage exercise in 2020. The two navy chiefs looked forward to continued engagements between the two navies.
Strengthening Close Ties with Brunei
Our Chief of Navy RADM Aaron Beng had a fruitful video teleconference with Commander of the Royal Brunei Navy (RBN) FADM Spry bin Haji Serudi.
This was their first meeting since FADM Spry took over as Commander in December 2020. RADM Beng and FADM Spry reaffirmed the strong and long-standing bilateral relationship that both our navies had built upon generations of people-to-people ties across all levels. Both navy chiefs also discussed ways to further strengthen cooperation and enhance interoperability between the RSN and RBN.
Enhanced Interoperability and Mutual Understanding
Our Chief of Navy RADM Aaron Beng and Chief of Navy, Royal New Zealand Navy, RADM David Proctor met over a video teleconference today. The two navy chiefs reaffirmed the close and long-standing bilateral relationship and committed to strengthening cooperation between the two navies.
In addition to multilateral exercises like the recent Rim of the Pacific Exercise, both navies engage in regular interactions through professional exchanges as part of the Five Power Defence Arrangements, ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting-Plus and Western Pacific Naval Symposium. These interactions have enhanced the interoperability and mutual understanding between the personnel of both navies.
Participation in Leadership Engagement
"As we cope with the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic, it is essential for navies to find a way to increase interactions and collaboration." – RADM Aaron Beng, Chief of Navy
Earlier today, RADM Beng had the opportunity to participate in the US Pacific Fleet Multilateral Virtual Key Leadership Engagement with 13 of his counterparts from across the region. The various navy chiefs shared on how navies could continue operating in the current COVID-19 environment. They also reaffirmed the importance of maintaining such dialogues to facilitate mutual understanding, at a time when physical interactions are much curtailed.
Reaffirming Longstanding and Close RSN-FN Ties
Our Chief of Navy RADM Aaron Beng and French Navy Chief of Staff ADM Pierre Vandier spoke over a video conference today. RADM Beng and ADM Vandier reaffirmed the longstanding and close RSN-FN ties, and their desire for both navies to continue to work closely to promote a maritime rules-based order, and deepen maritime security cooperation. They also shared their mutual interest in strengthening cooperation and interoperability between the two navies, through more exercises at sea.
Both navies conduct regular interactions, in the form of bilateral exercises, PASSEXes, cross-exchange of visits at both the senior and junior levels.
Reaffirming Ties with Royal Brunei Navy
This morning, our Chief of Navy RADM Aaron Beng and the Commander of the Royal Brunei Navy, FADM Dato Seri Pahlawan Haji Othman, met over a video teleconference. They reaffirmed the strong relationship between the two navies, which was built through professional interactions and personal friendships. RADM Beng and FADM Dato Othman were glad that both navies continued to strengthen interoperability through the bilateral Exercise Pelican held in July. Both navy chiefs also committed to continue pushing boundaries of Exercise Pelican, expand areas of cooperation, and looked forward to mutual visits once the situation allows.
Continuing Friendships and Growing Cooperation
Our Chief of Navy, RADM Aaron Beng and the Chief of the Indonesian Coast Guard (KABAKAMLA), VADM Aan Kurnia renewed their friendship through a fruitful video teleconference call this afternoon. Also in the call was Commander of the Maritime Security (MARSEC) Command, RADM Yong Wei Hsiung. The strong operational linkages established between MARSEC Command and BAKAMLA over the years have enabled both agencies to work closely to ensure regional maritime security. This relationship will be strengthened through links between our Navy's Information Fusion Centre and the BAKAMLA's new Indonesian Maritime Information Centre (IMIC). RADM Beng also congratulated VADM Aan on the upcoming launch of the new centre on 22 Jul.
Strengthening Close Ties with Indonesian Navy
This afternoon, our Chief of Navy RADM Aaron Beng and the Chief of the Indonesian Navy (KASAL) ADM Yudo Margono met for the first time over a video tele-conference. RADM Beng and ADM Yudo affirmed the strong and long-standing relationship between the navies – the RSN did our very first bilateral exercise with the TNI AL way back in 1974! Both navies continue to work closely even today, including information sharing and cooperation on maritime security to keep the Singapore Strait safe and secure. Underlying this are generations of people-to-people ties between personnel of all levels across both navies.
Both navy chiefs agreed on the importance for our navies to maintain strong ties, continue expanding our cooperation and looked forward to mutual visits in the near future.
Forging Long-Standing Friendships
It is this long-standing friendship between GUSKAMLA KOARMADA I and MARSEC Command that has strengthened our operational linkages over the years. The enhanced information sharing between the two commands on maritime incidents serves as a shining example of this.
This afternoon, Deputy Commander MARSEC Command COL Sean Wat and DAN GUSKAMLA KOARMADA I FADM Yayan Sofiyan continued to build upon this relationship via a teleconferencing meeting, where they had a fruitful discussion on maritime security (MARSEC) matters such as the recent sea robbery incidents, and committed to strengthening our MARSEC cooperation even amid COVID-19.
Staying Committed to Bilateral Relations Amidst COVID-19
Earlier today, our Chief of Navy RADM Aaron Beng and the Chief of the Royal Malaysian Navy ADM Tan Sri Mohd Reza bin Mohd Sany shared a fruitful teleconversation. Both navy chiefs reaffirmed our close and long-standing bilateral relations, as well as our commitment to key multilateral architecture such as the Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA).