U.S. and Singapore navies exercise in South China Sea
The US Navy's independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) and the Republic of Singapore Navy RSS Steadfast (FFS 70) held a joint exercise in the South China Sea on May 24-25.
The activities offered an opportunity for Gabrielle Giffords and Steadfast to exercise and improve bilateral interoperability between the two navies when working together, with focus on the importance of contact and teamwork.
The activities included a publication exercise, flashing light exercise, maneuvering exercise, photo exercise, large and small caliber weapons shooting. Both activities were organized with a emphasis on COVID-19 social distancing steps culminating in a successful multi-event test, with no preparation in-person.
“This was the first time that Gabrielle Giffords Blue Crew sailed alongside the Singapore Navy at sea, and they demonstrated high tactical proficiency throughout the exercise,” said Cmdr. Dustin Lonero, commanding officer of Gabrielle Giffords Blue Crew.
Exercise Pacific Griffin, the most complex naval exercise in the U.S.-Singapore to date, took place near Guam in October 2019, which was the last time the two countries trained at sea.
RSS commander Steadfast, Lt . Col. Carlin Song emphasised the significance of performing the exercise. “This exercise at sea provides both navies the opportunity to continue to hone our professional competencies and interoperability,” Song said. “Due to COVID-19, we had to conduct the exercise planning virtually. We were able to do so and execute the evolutions smoothly because of the good understanding that we have built over the years.”
Maritime Business World