Liaison officers from participating countries of SEACAT 2016 review a training brief to prepare for the exercise at Yankee Station, Aug. 19 (Photo: US Navy)
Singapore (VNA) – Naval forces from nine countries are gathered for a maritime security exercise in Singapore, which began on August 22.

They include including Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Bangladesh, Cambodia and the US.

Lieutenant-Commander Arlo Abrahamson, a spokesman for the US Seventh Fleet, said the exercise called “Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (SEACAT) will focus on anti-piracy and search and rescue operations at sea.

The event also aims to increase cooperation on combating smuggling and other illicit activities.

About 100 personnel and 12 vessels including navy ships and patrol boats and two P8 maritime patrol aircraft are involved in the five-day exercise.

The drill is expected to enable participating countries to respond more effectively to maritime threats, and thus better defend the security of their seas, Abrahamson added.

SEACAT began in 2002 with a view to combating piracy. Ten years later, it expanded the scope of training related to maritime smuggling and prevention of illegal activities.-VNA