Home' Defence Review Asia : DRA Sept-Oct 2013 Contents HEADLINES
USS LAKE ERIE,
CONDUCT SEARCH AND
The United States Navy announced on September
10 that as part of a broader advancement in
cooperation between the United States and China,
the guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG 70)
and the People's Liberation Army-Navy [PLA(N)]
participated in training scenarios off the coast of
Oahu, Hawaii, the previous day.
The three participating PLA(N) ships, a Fuqing-
class fleet oiler Hongzehu (AOR 881), a Lulu-class
destroyer Qingdao (DDG 113) and a Jiangkai-class
frigate Linyi (FFG 547), had just completed a port
visit at Joint Base Harbor Pearl Harbor-Hickam,
Sept. 6-9. This was the first visit by PLA(N) ships to
Pearl Harbor since 2006.
The at-sea training
included search and
rescue, military medicine,
pipe patching and
firefighting. Capt. John
officer of Lake Erie,
said the training helps
establish clear paths of
trust, and encourages
to address common
"With this opportunity,
we demonstrated our ability to operate and
communicate at sea with the PLA(N)," Banigan said.
"Having all Pacific nation navies working together
on common maritime problems advances our goal
of ensuring security, stability, peace and prosperity
in the region."
During the search and rescue exercise, which
Banigan highlighted as contributing to a core
capability that the U.S. Navy practices regularly with
navies throughout Pacific, one rigid-hulled inflatable
boat from the Lake Erie and one rescue boat from
the Qingdao responded to a distressed vessel that
had a fire, wounded sailor and was taking on water.
Sailors from both of the nations worked together
throughout the scenario to put out the fire, pipe and
shore the leak and assist the wounded.
Damage Controlman Fireman Jacob Christopher
Barr, a search and rescue swimmer aboard Lake
Erie, said this is the first time he had worked with
"The exercise went smoothly thanks to the quick
reactions to situations by both the U.S. Navy and
PLA(N)," Barr said.
Information Technician 2nd Class Wenbin Wu,
who was born in China but moved to New York
City as a teenager in 1998, stood in as a translator
aboard Lake Erie.
"This is a great opportunity for our Navy and
China's Navy to build a relationship based on the
training exercises today," Wu said.
A productive relationship with the PLA(N) is an
essential part of the U.S. Navy's ongoing rebalance
strategy, providing an opportunity to deal with
common challenges that all Pacific nations face: the
proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, search
and rescue, humanitarian assistance and disaster
relief, narco-trafficking, piracy, and protecting the
free use of the seas and the global commons like
space and cyberspace.
Adm. Cecil Haney, commander of U.S. Pacific
Fleet, said activities this past week in Hawaii
and San Diego demonstrate the U.S. Navy's
commitment to building a positive and constructive
relationship with the Chinese Navy, where they
contribute to regional stability as a member of the
community of nations.
"Our commitment to exploring closer cooperation
with China must occur on the foundation of existing
U.S. alliances and other partnerships in the region,"
said Haney. "We want to work with China, our
allies and partners to create a shared future that
deals with security challenges faced by all Pacific
nations. Port visits, senior leader dialogues, bilateral
engagements and multilateral exercises will help the
U.S. and China work toward common goals while
also candidly addressing our differences." Ù
PEOPLE'S NAVY SIGN
The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) announced
on September 6 that Chief of Navy Rear-Admiral Ng
Chee Peng has signed signed a Submarine Rescue
Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Vietnam
People's Navy (VPN)'s Commander-in-Chief Admiral
Nguyen Van Hien, onboard the RSN's submarine
rescue and support vessel, MV Swift Rescue.
The MOA establishes a framework between the
RSN and VPN in the area of submarine rescue
support and cooperation. Under the MOA, the RSN
will make available to the VPN MV Swift Rescue and
other resources to render support and assistance in
the event of a VPN submarine incident.
The signing of the MOA underscores the good
and growing bilateral defence relationship between
Singapore and Vietnam. Both armed forces interact
frequently through high-level visits, professional
exchanges, cross attendance of courses and
port calls. The two navy chiefs also signed a
Memorandum of Understanding to share information
on commercial shipping and maritime incidents. Ù
People's Liberation Army-Navy ships Luhu-class destroyer Qingdao (DDG 113),
Jiangkai-class frigate Linyi (FFG 547) is moored alongside USS Lake Erie (CG 70)
Credit: USN / Nardel Gervacio
Credit: U.S. Navy / Joshua Bryce Bruns
Rear-Admiral Ng Chee Peng (right) and Commander-in-
Admiral Nguyen Van Hien. Credit: MINDEF Singapore
DefenceReviewAsia | SEPT-OCT 2013 7
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