NEWS | July 21, 2020

22 Nations Participate Virtually in 19th Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training

By MC2 Christopher Veloicaza Task Force 73

SINGAPORE - The largest number of nations ever will participate in the 19th iteration of Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (SEACAT), being held as a virtual symposium, July 21-23.

The goal of SEACAT is to bring together regional partner nations to engage in "real world, real time" training designed to enhance maritime security by highlighting the value of information sharing and multilateral coordination.

Planners from Logistics Group Western Pacific/ Task Force 73 and partner nations have worked together over the past months to adapt SEACAT amidst the challenges and demands of a global pandemic.

Rear Adm. Joey Tynch, commander of COMLOG WESTPAC/ CTF 73, said he had no doubt the planners and participants would make this year’s SEACAT a success.

"For years we have worked to make SEACAT adaptable and flexible," said Tynch. "Now, in these challenging circumstances, we are demonstrating these dynamic concepts when they are needed most and with the largest representation ever.”

This year, SEACAT takes shape as a virtual maritime domain symposium, consisting of presentations, live question and answer sessions, panel discussions and interactive small group breakout sessions with representatives from 22 participating nations.

“The challenges in this region are too great for any one nation alone,” said Tynch. “SEACAT shows the depth and breadth of the network of partners committed to maritime security and stability. We’re stronger together.”

Participating nations include Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Canada, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor-Leste, the United Kingdom, Vietnam, and the United States.

This year exemplifies SEACAT’s reputation for adaptability and flexibility through the implementation of a virtual symposium to facilitate a larger audience, optimize participation and protect the health of all participants.

The MDA symposium will include presentations, live question and answer sessions, panel discussions and interactive small group breakout sessions with maritime force representatives from participating nations, as well as academics, think tanks and NGOs.

SEACAT promotes shared commitments to maritime partnerships, security and stability in Southeast Asia. SEACAT contributes to regional maritime enhancing capabilities in areas such as maritime interdiction, information sharing, anti-piracy and anti-smuggling. Participation is inclusive of those with a mutual interest in regional maritime security.

Started in 2002 under the name Southeast Asia Cooperation Against Terrorism, the SEACAT exercise was renamed after 2011, to reflect the growing desire for increased coordinated training between the U.S. Navy and its partners, and among regional partner navies.

COMLOG WESTPAC is the U.S. 7th Fleet's provider of combat-ready logistics, operating government-owned and contracted ships to keep units throughout 7th Fleet armed, fueled and fed.