The vice chief of naval operations (VCNO) concluded a two-day visit to Singapore Feb. 23.
Adm. Mark Ferguson met with Chief of the Singapore Navy, Rear Admiral Chee Pang, toured facilities at Changi and Sembawang naval bases, and spoke to U.S. Sailors at an all hands call.
“I am visiting regional partners on behalf of the Secretary of the Navy and Chief of Naval Operations to discuss our Pacific engagement,” said Ferguson. “As we look at the future of the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) and our presence in the region, this was an important stop.”
In meetings with the Singapore Navy, VCNO focused on the recent U.S. force posture review, the status of the two respective navies and future plans to operate LCS out of Singapore.
“This visit further solidified the strong relationship we enjoy with the Singapore Navy,” said Ferguson. “We are committed to deploying LCS to Singapore. My time here gave me a better understanding of the support facilities available and the factors we still must work through before we move ahead.”
While visiting Changi Naval Base, Ferguson met with Fleet Commander Rear Admiral Lai Chun Han, toured the information fusion center, fleet headquarters and the Singapore Navy Frigate RSS Stalwart.
“It was clear to me in this visit that the Singaporean facilities and infrastructure are well suited to accommodate our ships for training, exchanges, and exercises,” said Ferguson. “Our ongoing access to these facilities helps us promote regional stability and supports operations from the Western Pacific to the Arabian Gulf.”
In an all hands call at Logistics Group, Western Pacific (COMLOG WESTPAC), Ferguson thanked Sailors for the important work they have done supporting U.S. interests throughout the region. He discussed what the future Navy will look like, what is expected of Sailors and how each of them can make a difference daily.
COMLOG WESTPAC, Commander, Task Force 73 (CTF 73), and Navy Region Center Singapore are the U.S. 7th Fleet’s providers of combat-ready logistics, maintaining and operating government-owned and contracted vessels to keep combatant ships and units throughout the region armed, fueled, fed and supported. Additionally, they are 7th Fleet’s Theater Security Cooperation agent for Southeast Asia, providing persistent engagement with allies and partners.
Before taking questions from the audience Ferguson encouraged the Sailors to “always bring their ‘A-game’.”
“I expect each of you to uphold the highest standards and always represent the Navy with pride,” he said. “We remain the world’s preeminent maritime force because of people like you.”
Ferguson is traveling throughout the U.S. Pacific Fleet to meet with regional partners and U.S. personnel to discuss U.S. Navy Pacific engagement. He will also visit Guam next.
Naval Today Staff , February 24, 2012; Image: navy