First ASEAN-China maritime field training exercise to be held in October: MINDEF

First ASEAN-China maritime field training exercise to be held in October: MINDEF

Naval officers from various ASEAN countries and China participating in a scenario-based exercise. (Photo: Vanessa Lim)
SINGAPORE: A maritime field training exercise between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China will be held in China in October this year, announced the Ministry of Defence on Friday (Aug 3). 
This comes after ASEAN and Chinese defence ministers agreed in February to conduct the first-ever ASEAN-China Maritime Exercise this year. 
READ: ASEAN-China to conduct first maritime exercise
To prepare for this, a table-top exercise was conducted from Aug 2 to 3 in Singapore. 
Hosted by the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN), more than 40 naval officers from ASEAN countries and China - including five naval officers from Singapore - came together to develop plans that will be used during the exercise.
These plans include dealing with maritime incidents such as search and rescue operations and medical evacuation. The Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea was also used in the plans for the approach of distressed vessels and helicopter cross-deck landings.
The table-top exercise also saw simulated maritime incidents such as a collision at sea as well a fire breakout on a ship, to strengthen cooperation and coordination among participants. 
"This table-top exercise has been a good first step for navies from ASEAN countries and China to work together to deal with maritime incidents at sea," said Colonel Lim Yu Chuan, commander officer of RSN's 185 Squadron and exercise co-director. 
"We all have common interest and should work together," said Captain Liang Zhijia, deputy chief of operations, Naval Forces of People's Liberation Army Southern Theater Command and exercise co-director.
"Such practical cooperation will help build trust so that we can work together towards safe seas for all," Capt Liang added.
Source: CNA/nc