ASEAN maritime security boosted through enhanced info-sharing

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09 Jul 2012 | OPS & TRAINING
Melayu 华文

ASEAN maritime security boosted through enhanced info-sharing

STORY // Tan Guan Wei
PHOTO // Chai Sian Liang
English Melayu

ASEAN navies came together to work on responding more swiftly and effectively to maritime security threats such as piracy, sea robbery and maritime terrorism through the inaugural ASEAN Maritime Security Information-Sharing Exercise (AMSISX) held from 8 Jul to 10 Jul.

Co-hosted by the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) and the Indonesian Navy (TNI-AL), the exercise was officially opened by Chief of Navy Rear-Admiral (RADM) Ng Chee Peng and Chief of Naval Staff of the Indonesian Navy Admiral (ADM) Soeparno at the Changi Command and Control (C2) Centre on 9 Jul. The ceremony, which was attended by navy chiefs from Brunei, Malaysia and Indonesia, also saw the ASEAN Information-Sharing Portal (AIP), a Web-based platform which allows ASEAN navies to share maritime security-related information in the region.

In his opening speech, RADM Ng emphasised the importance of ensuring that the region's sea lines of communication remain open and undisrupted, as they are "crucial lifelines for South-east Asia, whose economic survival and success depend on uninterrupted flow of seaborne trade".

He also highlighted that the AMSISX is a significant milestone as it marks a "clear sign of practical cooperation among the ASEAN navies". He noted that the exercise will also help to strengthen the professional ties and promote a common understanding among the navies.

RADM Ng added: "The conduct of the AMSISX will strengthen our navies' capacity and capability to have greater maritime situation awareness and be ready to respond in a timely and effective manner against maritime security threats."

Conducted from the Changi C2 Centre as well as various naval operation centres in the region, the exercise saw about 60 participants from the regional navies working together using the AIP.

The AIP enhances information-sharing procedures by facilitating the real-time exchange of information between various operation centres and operational commanders through a group chat function. It also comes with a programme which provides real-time translation between English and the respective countries' native language in the chat function, thus enhancing communication and interoperability among the ASEAN navies.

Furthermore, it has a second variant, known as the AIP (Mobile), which can be installed on the commanders' mobile devices. This enables the commanders to receive maritime security alerts and carry out group discussions while on the move, hence facilitating timely decision-making in operational situations.

After the opening ceremony, Head Naval Operations RADM Jackson Chia and Assistant to Chief of Naval Staff for Operations RADM Didit Herdiawan signed the Arrangement between the RSN and the TNI-AL Concerning Submarine Rescue Support and Cooperation on the MV Swift Rescue.

Through the arrangement, the RSN's submarine rescue system will be made available to the TNI-AL to provide support and assistance in the event of any submarine-related incidents. A joint standard operating procedure will also be developed to establish common processes in the conduct of submarine rescue operations together, thus enhancing interoperability and maintaining the proficiency of the personnel involved in such operations.

The arrangement reaffirmed the close and long-standing ties between the two navies.