Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III today welcomed Singapore’s Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen to the Pentagon for discussions on mutual security concerns.

The leaders most recently met in November during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Defense Ministers’ Meeting Plus meeting in Jakarta, Indonesia. They also met in June during the International Institute for Strategic Studies’ Asia Security Summit, also known as the Shangri-La Dialogue.

“Our teams have been working hard to expand our defense cooperation over the years,” Austin said. “In September, Acting Undersecretary Sasha Baker visited Singapore to continue our work to improve our force-posture collaboration and to increase high-end air-to-air training.”

During that visit in September, Baker co-chaired the Strategic Security Policy Dialogue with Singapore’s Permanent Secretary (Defense) Chan Heng Kee to further advance combined defense initiatives and discuss regional security issues. In addition to reviewing existing bilateral defense initiatives — including force-posture cooperation and high-end air-to-air training — the two explored new opportunities for cooperation on topics that included maritime domain awareness, emerging technologies and cyber security. 

In October, Austin said both nations participated in the inaugural U.S.-Singapore Critical Emerging Technology Dialogue, which was launched in Washington.

Just yesterday, William A. LaPlante, undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment and Melvyn Ong, Singapore’s permanent secretary for defense development, concluded a security of supply arrangement, which Austin said is an important step to strengthen supply chain resiliency.

“These accomplishments show the strength of our relationship, and they underscore Singapore’s unique status as a major security cooperation partner of the United States,” Austin said, adding that Singapore remains one of the United States’ most valued defense partners. 

“I am truly grateful for your friendship and for all that you personally do for peace and security in the Indo-Pacific,” Austin said.

The U.S. and Singapore regularly cooperate in bilateral exercises, including Pacific Griffin, Commando Sling and Tiger Balm, which are designed to enhance military-to-military cooperation.

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