US media reported Thursday that the U.S. Navys independent class Montgomery coastal warship arrived at Singapores Changi Naval Base on June 6, becoming the fourth U.S. warship assigned to Singapore since April 2013. The U.S. military says this is an important part of the U.S. strategy of freedom and openness in Indo-Pacific.
Reported that in an interview with local media on the 8th, Captain Edward Rosso said that the first overseas deployment of the Montgomery was in the important Indo-Pacific region, which he was honored and responsible for. It is understood that the United States began to send permanent warships to Singapore in April 2013, when the U.S. Navy dispatched an independent class coastal warship, the Freedom. As part of President Barack Obamas strategic layout for Asia, the purpose of sending permanent warships to Singapore is to strengthen the US militarys combat capability in Southeast Asia and strengthen its relations with Southeast Asian allies. But for a year and a half after the third coastal warship completed its rotation in November 2017 and left Singapore, the U.S. military has not sent warships to replace the rotation deployment at Changi Naval Base. US media quoted observers as saying that the disconnection of Singapores warship stationing project may be related to technical equipment and personnel training problems in the US Navys coastal warship project. During the deployment of Liberty in Singapore, there were many failures, including water inflow, network vulnerabilities and so on.
Nineteen months after the interruption, the arrival of the Montgomery coastal warship restarted the rotation of U.S. forces in Singapore. According to British Diplomat magazine, U.S. Navy Logistics Department Western Pacific Commander Timothy said that the presence of U.S. troops in Singapore not only highlights the presence of U.S. forces in the region, but also provides an important platform for U.S. military maritime security operations and regional security cooperation, and strengthens the U.S. military and partner navies. The capability of joint operations. We are ready to carry out all-round tasks such as maritime security, regional security cooperation, humanitarian relief, disaster support and so on. Multifunctional warships enhance our naval integration capabilities with our Indo-Pacific partners. Tinch said. It is reported that the U.S. Maritime Warships will normally be stationed in Singapore for one to two years at a time. In the coming months, the Montgomery is expected to launch a series of maritime security operations, including upgrading their maritime capabilities for several partner countries in Southeast Asia.
Independent class coastal warship is a new type of warship specially designed for shallow sea operations in the United States. This kind of warship has strong navigational mobility and operational flexibility. In addition to the independent class, the coastal warships also include the free class. The biggest difference between the two classes is that the independent class uses trimaran design and the free class uses monohull design. The U.S. Navy plans to build 38 coastal warships. Currently, 16 of them have been delivered to the U.S. Navy, of which 7 are free and 9 are independent.
Singapore has long enjoyed good military relations with the United States. According to the Straits Times of Singapore, the annual joint military exercise between the two armies was held on the afternoon of July 8, local time. The exercise will end on July 19, the longest since the first joint military exercise was held in 1981. Singapores Ministry of Defense described the exercise as a sign of long-term good relations between the two armies.
U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Affairs Xue Ruife said recently that the military cooperation between the United States and Singapore has been strong. Singapore is a firm partner of the United States in Southeast Asia, and both sides will work to maintain regional and global security. Singapore is our only major security partner in the region, providing important access for U.S. warships and aircraft, and the presence of the U.S. military supports regional security and stability. Xue Ruife said.
Singapore, as a Southeast Asian country and one of the core countries of ASEAN, has always been an important issue in balancing its relations with China and the United States, a Singaporean scholar who asked not to be named told the Global Times on September 9. At present, Singapore, including ASEAN as a whole, relies heavily on the security of the United States. But at the same time, it is also very important to develop relations with China, especially economic ties. Economic and trade cooperation with China can bring very realistic benefits to the region, which any ASEAN country is unwilling to give up. Therefore, while deepening military cooperation with the United States, we should pay more attention to Chinas feelings and not intensify tensions in the South China Sea. After all, compared with the United States on the other side of the world, China is the South China Sea neighbor of ASEAN.
Source: Global Times - Global Network Responsible Editor: Shi Jianlei_NBJ11331