Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and United States (US) President Donald Trump signed an agreement to renew the 1990 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Regarding United States' Use of Facilities in Singapore on 24 Sep.
The Protocol of Amendment to the 1990 MOU, or 2019 AMOU, will extend the original MOU for another 15 years.
The 1990 MOU facilitates the US' access to Singapore's air and naval bases and provides logistic support for the US' transiting personnel, aircraft and vessels. It was first signed by Singapore's founding Prime Minister, the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew, and then-US Vice President Dan Quayle.
Under the agreement, the US has rotationally deployed fighter aircraft for exercises, refuelling and maintenance to Singapore. It has also deployed Littoral Combat Ships to Singapore since 2013 and P-8 Poseidon aircraft since 2015.
The signing of the 2019 AMOU reflects the shared belief that the US' presence in the Asia-Pacific remains vital for peace, stability and prosperity in the region.
In addition to the 1990 MOU, Singapore and the US have signed other milestone agreements such as the 2015 enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement which built upon the strong defence partnership in new areas such as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief as well as cyber defence.
Defence Minister Dr Ng Eng Hen, who is in New York from 22 to 26 Sep as part of Mr Lee's delegation, also spoke with his counterpart US Secretary of Defence Mark Esper over the phone on 24 Sep.
The defence leaders discussed the good progress of key ongoing initiatives, particularly in defence technology and military-to-military cooperation. They also reaffirmed the strong ties between the two armed forces.
Over the years, Singapore and the US have enhanced cooperation in various joint and multilateral exercises.
These include Exercise Tiger Balm, the longest-running bilateral exercise between the Singapore and US armies, which marked its 39th edition this year with 800 soldiers taking part.
Other examples are the multilateral naval exercise CARAT and a large-scale air-to-air combat exercise, Exercise Red Flag – Nellis.