|Some of the participating ships from the 6th WP MCMEX berthed at Changi Naval Base. Singapore Navy photo.|
Singapore August 25, 2015 - The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) and Indonesian Navy (TNI AL) are co-hosting the 6th Western Pacific Mine Countermeasure Exercise (WP MCMEX) from 25 to 31 August 2015. The Singapore's Chief of Navy, Rear-Admiral (RADM) Lai Chung Han, officiated at the opening ceremony of the exercise at the Changi Command and Control Centre this morning.
More than 800 personnel, 13 ships and five underwater vehicle teams from 16 countries are participating in this year's exercise. The exercise includes professional exchanges, and will culminate in a five-day mine-hunting and mine-sweeping sea phase in the Singapore Strait and the waters off the Indonesian island of Pulau Bintan.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, RADM Lai highlighted the importance of multilateral cooperation in maintaining the freedom of navigation in the sea lines of communication, and the need to remain vigilant and ready to respond to a myriad of threats. RADM Lai said, "As navies, we not only need to be on top of today's challenges - and we have many - we also need to be in time for the future...the activities carried out in the 6th WP MCMEX will build capacity and strengthen interoperability between exercise participants. Beyond delivering professional benefits, multilateral exercises such as this are useful platforms for forging friendships and strengthening mutual understanding."
The WP MCMEX is conducted under the ambit of the Western Pacific Naval Symposium (WPNS), which promotes mutual understanding, friendship, professionalism and interoperability among the personnel of the participating navies. The participation of the WPNS countries in the exercise reflects their strong commitment to multilateral cooperation and the promotion of regional security. The co-hosting of the exercise by the RSN and the TNI AL also reflects the close and long-standing cooperation between the two navies.