The Hanoitimes - The US-lead 17th annual Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (SEACAT) exercise comprising nine partner nations has kicked off in Singapore.
SEACAT brings sailors and coast guardsmen from Bangladesh, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, US, Thailand and Vietnam together in a series of tailored seminars including a comprehensive visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) workshop in Manila, Philippines led by the US Coast Guard.
Taking place from August 27 to September 7, SEACAT focuses on enhancing the navigation cooperation and training for attendants to confront with challenges of maritime security.
A part of SEACAT exercise. Photo: US Navy
Accordingly, SEACAT 2018 involves complex maritime interdiction scenarios that would offer opportunities for “real-world, real-time” practice.
Participants will share information from all available sources, including Singapore’s Information Fusion Center and Maritime Operations Center in Brunei, the Philippines, and Thailand.
US Navy Task Force 73 Commander Rear Admiral Joey Tynch, in a press conference with regional reporters yesterday, highlighted the role of information sharing and connecting in reaching common maritime domain awareness. He also said the increasing complexity of SEACAT reflected the closer ties of countries involved in the excercise, which was launched in 2002.
The exercise originally started in 2002 under the name “Southeast Asia Cooperation against Terrorism” and was renamed in 2012 to increase the scope of training among regional navies and coast guards.
This is the second time Vietnam joins the event. In June this year, the country first time sent representatives to participate in the Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC) in Hawaii, the US.