HANGI, Singapore -- Vice Adm. Phil Sawyer, commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, kicked off a series of theater security cooperation (TSC) engagements May 9-10 with U.S.-Republic of Singapore navy staff talks in Changi, Singapore.
Flag-level staff talks have traditionally been a forum for senior leaders to analyze the previous year's engagements and present opportunities for growth and improved partnerships between nations. During this year's staff talks, the 7th Fleet participants discussed a wide range of issues, including opportunities for more at-sea engagements, as well as medical subject matter expert changes. They also discussed ways to enhance the interoperability between Singapore Navy and U.S. Navy vessels.
"We have been a constant presence in the region for the last 75 years, and staff talks such as these are an important relationship-building opportunity, and a way to demonstrate our commitment to remaining in the Indo Pacific, and supporting our allies and friends," said Sawyer.
The Republic of Singapore also hosts the rotational deployments of U.S. P-8A Poseidon maritime reconnaissance patrol aircraft, which participate in regional exercises and provide support for humanitarian assistance/disaster relief and maritime security efforts in the region. The staff talks provided participating aviators the opportunity to propose collaborative exchanges and best practices for regional flights.
"Both our fleet and the U.S. 7th Fleet are close friends and strong partners," said Col. Edwin Leong, Republic of Singapore navy fleet commander. "I would like to thank Vice Adm. Sawyer for his personal leadership in strengthening bilateral ties, and continuing with their strong commitment to the region. Moving ahead, we will continue to work closely together, engaging our friends and partners to strengthen regional peace and security."
Seventh Fleet, which celebrates its 75th year in 2018, spans more than 124 million square kilometers, stretching from the International Date Line to the India/Pakistan border; and from the Kuril Islands in the North to the Antarctic in the South. Seventh Fleet's area of operation encompasses 36 maritime countries and 50 percent of the world's population with between 50-70 U.S. ships and submarines, 140 aircraft, and approximately 20,000 Sailors in the 7th Fleet.