From Lt. Clyde Shavers, CTF 73-DESRON 7 Public Affairs
USS Benfold (DDG 65) and RSS Endurance (LST 207) steam in formation during exercise Pacific Griffin 2017, Aug. 28. (U.S. Navy/MC1 Benjamin A. Lewis) >>
GUAM - The U.S. Navy and Republic of Singapore navies concluded Exercise Pacific Griffin 2017 at U.S. Naval Base Guam, Sept 2.
Pacific Griffin 17 served as this year’s U.S.-Singapore annual maritime exercise and ran from Aug. 19 through Sept. 2 in waters near Guam. The exercise was coordinated months in advance by planners from both navies.
Pacific Griffin highlights the longstanding maritime partnership between the U.S. and the Republic of Singapore navies through 23 years of annual bilateral exercises.
“The U.S. Navy deeply values our close partnership with the Republic of Singapore Navy,” said Capt. Lex Walker, commander of Destroyer Squadron 7. “Pacific Griffin 2017 provided a unique opportunity for both navies to interact and engage in a broader and more complex range of maritime scenarios and operations.”
As the first bilateral exercise between the two navies taking place outside the vicinity of Singapore, the exercise featured a full-spectrum of naval operations ranging from anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare to air defense, live fire drills, and tactical ship maneuvers.
Republic of Singapore Navy Commander First Flotilla and commanding officer of 185 Squadron Colonel Saw Shi Tat highlighted the value of the exercise in enhancing professionalism and interoperability among the two navies.
“The operating environment in Guam gave us the opportunity to hone our edge and push our operational envelopes,” said Colonel Saw. “It also allowed us to operate with our friends and partners from around the world, including the U.S. Navy.”
Participating naval assets included the littoral combat ship USS Coronado (LCS 4), the guided-missile destroyer USS Benfold (DDG 65), replenishment oiler USNS Matthew Pecos (T-AO 197), and the Republic of Singapore multi-role stealth frigates RSS Supreme (FFS 73) and RSS Stalwart (FFS 72) and landing platform dock ship RSS Endurance (LST 207).
“The complexity and sophistication of Pacific Griffin is a direct result of the many accomplishments and lessons we’ve learned from working together with the Republic of Singapore Navy for many years,” said Walker.
Beyond the exercise, Sailors from both navies developed professional and personal relationships that build lasting bonds between the two navies.
“It was an honor for the Sailors of USS Coronado to participate in Pacific Griffin with a respected and capable maritime partner like the Republic of Singapore Navy. This was a tremendous opportunity to build upon previous engagements,” said Cmdr. Douglas Meagher, commanding officer of Coronado. “We look forward to continue strengthening our cooperation with Singapore through our quality interaction and work together at sea.”
COMLOGWESTPAC and Maritime Staff Element staff conduct advanced planning, organize resources and directly support the execution of maritime exercises such Pacific Partnership, the bilateral Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) series, Naval Engagement Activity (NEA) with Vietnam, and the multilateral Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (SEACAT) with Bangladesh, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam.