US Navy to ‘grow’ influence in Asia Pacific: Ng Eng Hen

SINGAPORE: The US Navy will not only continue its influence in Asia Pacific, but “intends to grow it”. This was the message reiterated by Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer, said Singapore’s Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen of their meeting at the Pentagon on Wednesday (Oct 25).

In a Facebook post on Thursday, Dr Ng said: “To achieve this, the US Navy would increase the number of ships in its orbat (order of battle).”

The minister is in Washington, DC from Oct 25 to 26 as part of the delegation for Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s visit .

In a separate press release on Thursday, the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) said during the meeting with Secretary Spencer, both parties reaffirmed the strong partnership between the Republic of Singapore Navy and the US Navy, as well as between the Singapore Army and US Marine Corps.

They noted the importance of the US’ continued leadership in the Asia Pacific as a “force for peace and stability”.

The Secretary thanked the SAF for its assistance in the recovery efforts following the collision involving the USS John S McCain in August this year, which resulted in the deaths of 10 sailors .

They also discussed ways that Singapore, as ASEAN Chair in 2018, could support ASEAN-US cooperation in maritime security and counter-terrorism, MINDEF added.