The U.S. Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington began its first night in Singapore with a welcome reception, Oct. 26.
The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier hosted more than 500 U.S. and Singapore dignitaries, including the Honorable Kirk Wagar, U.S. ambassador to Singapore, and Rear Adm. Timothy Lo Khee Shik, fleet commander, Republic of Singapore navy.
“We’re here to build on our strong partnership with the Singapore navy and air force, and improve our capability of working together,” said Rear Adm. Mark Montgomery, commander, Battle Force U.S. 7th Fleet.
Guests at the reception were treated to food, drinks and a cake in the shape of the George Washington provided by the ship’s supply department.
They also witnessed a parading of the colors to both the United States and Singapore national anthems before the guests of honor, Wagar and Lo made remarks.
“Your presence here is tangible evidence of the unequaled bilateral relationship we share with Singapore,” said Wagar.
“Our two countries share a multi-faceted and solid relationship that is anchored by strong people-to-people ties, as well as many shared economic and security interests,” said Lo.
Lo also praised the cooperation between the U.S. and Singapore navies in search and rescue, and counter-piracy operations.
After the remarks, guests continued to while away the evening, enjoying cake and conversation with the Sailors of the George Washington and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5.
“We have a wonderful opportunity here to build on the incremental relationship we’ve had with Singapore,” said Wagar. “It’s a module for all our bilateral relationships around the world.”
George Washington and CVW 5 provide a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interest of the U.S. and its allies and partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
Press Release, October 28, 2013; Image: US Navy