Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen visited the Maritime Security Task Force (MSTF) at Changi Naval Base this afternoon. Dr Ng was briefed by Commander, MSTF Rear Admiral (RADM) Harris Chan on how MSTF enhances Singapore's abilities to combat the increasing array of maritime security challenges.
RADM Chan shared that MSTF would allow for a swift, effective and coordinated response to potential maritime security threats, and that information sharing with both national and international maritime agencies significantly increases MSTF’s awareness of the regional maritime situation. As part of his programme, Dr Ng toured MSTF’s facilities at the Changi Command and Control Centre at Changi Naval Base, and witnessed an Accompanying Sea Security Teams boarding operation as well as a Mine Countermeasure survey operation. In addition to the tour of MSTF, Dr Ng also visited Pedra Branca where he viewed the facilities and interacted with the personnel there.
Speaking after his visit, Dr Ng noted that MSTF plays a critical role in dealing with the evolving and multi-faceted maritime security threats facing Singapore. He said: "The Republic of Singapore Navy has an extremely complex task. There are many vessels, and physically it is very demanding so we have to use technology, at the same time we have to really depend on the commitment of our soldiers. Our Navy is now primarily responsible to coordinate all our efforts with various agencies, and we've made significant advances in keeping our waters safe and freedom of navigation which has kept our economy going and our country safe."
Dr Ng was accompanied by Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Defence and National Development Dr Mohamad Maliki Osman, Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant-General Neo Kian Hong, Chief of Navy RADM Ng Chee Peng and other senior Singapore Armed Forces officers during the visit.