Assistant Minister for Defence - Assistant Minister for Defence and Chief of the Defence Force meet Singaporean counterparts at Shoalwater Bay Training Area

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The Hon Stuart Robert MP

Assistant Minister for Defence

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8 November 2014

The Assistant Minister for Defence, Stuart Robert, today met with Singaporean Second Minister for Defence, Mr Chan Chun Sing, to observe Singaporean unilateral training Exercise WALLABY and its bilateral component, Exercise TRIDENT, at the Shoalwater Bay Training Area in Queensland.

Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin, and his Singaporean counterpart, Lieutenant General Ng Chee Meng, also took part in the visit.

Exercise WALLABY is Singapore’s major annual unilateral training activity in Australia and involves up to 5,000 Singapore Armed Forces personnel.

“Australia understands how important Singaporean unilateral training in Australia is for the preparedness of the Singapore Armed Forces,” Mr Robert said.

“We are pleased to support Singaporean training such as in Exercise WALLABY and at RAAF Base Pearce in Western Australia and at the Army Aviation Centre Oakey in Queensland.”

Ministers arrived at the exercise by helicopter, which landed on the Republic of Singapore Navy’s Landing Ship RSS Persistence. The ship is at Shoalwater Bay to participate in the exercise.

Exercise TRIDENT includes Australian Defence Force and Singaporean Armed Forces working together in an amphibious exercise based on a conventional operations scenario.

The visit also provided an opportunity to discuss the Australian and Singaporean Governments’ desire to enhance the relationship, following the eighth Singapore-Australia Joint Ministerial Committee (SAJMC) meeting held on 22 August 2014.

“Developing closer cooperation with the Singapore Armed Forces contributes to a more capable defence force for Australia and enhanced security in the region,” Mr Robert said.

Australia and Singapore have identified a number of opportunities to deepen the defence relationship, including the potential for enhanced access to training areas, closer departmental and military links, enhanced exercise and training programs, and further cooperation in counter terrorism, cyber security and defence science and technology.

Media contacts:

Richard Briedis (Minister Robert's Office)         0477 391 174

Defence Media Operations                                (02) 6127 1999

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