Adm. John C. Aquilino, Commander U.S. Indo-Pacific Command traveled to Singapore March 14-16, 2023 emphasizing the country’s importance as a regional security partner.
While there, Aquilino met with current Chief of Defence Force, Singapore Armed Forces, Lt. Gen. Melvyn Ong, and Adm. Aaron Beng, who will take over as Chief of Defence Force on March 24, to discuss both countries’ ongoing commitments to the region and upholding the shared vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific.
Aquilino also met with Jonathan Kaplan, United States Ambassador to the Republic of Singapore.
During his visit, Aquilino visited Sembawang Naval Installation, and met with leaders and Sailors assigned to Commander, Logistics Group Western Pacific/ Task Force 73 (COMLOG WESTPAC/ CTF 73). COMLOG WESTPAC supports deployed surface units and aircraft carriers, along with regional Allies and partners, to facilitate patrols in the South China Sea, participation in naval exercises and responses to natural disasters.
He also delivered public remarks during a special lecture titled “Managing Strategic Competition and the Quest for an Enduring Future in the Indo-Pacific” at an event hosted by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). The IISS Special Lectures bring together prominent members and experts in order to discuss important developments in Asia-Pacific security with global and regional leaders. During the lecture, Aquilino emphasized the importance of the rules-based international order, which yields greater prosperity, enhanced security and strengthened sovereignty for all nations.
As one of the United States' strongest bilateral partners in Southeast Asia, Singapore plays an indispensable role in support of the region's security and economic framework, and have worked together to address numerous challenges throughout the region.