Singapore Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen and Australian Minister for Defence Marise Payne signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Military Training and Training Area Development in Canberra, Australia, on 13th October. The MoU signing was witnessed by Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
The MOU on Military Training and Training Area Development is one of the initiatives to strengthen defence cooperation under the Singapore-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP).
Under the MOU, the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) will be able to conduct unilateral training in Australia for 18 weeks with 14,000 troops per year over 25 years, in training areas 10 times the size of Singapore.
Singapore and Australia will also jointly develop military training areas and advanced facilities in Australia. This will allow the SAF to maintain its operational readiness as a capable, modern and integrated fighting force over the long-term.
The Singapore Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) and the Australian Department of Defence (ADoD) also concluded the MOU on Sharing of Military Intelligence Assessments, and the MOU on Personnel Exchanges in September 2016 and October 2016 respectively. In addition, both defence establishments have made good progress in implementing the Defence Science and Technology MOU that was signed in July 2015, and have also made commitments to hold a pilot Track 1.5 security dialogue and to develop Exercise Trident into the signature bilateral joint military exercise.
These initiatives build on the MOU on Defence Cooperation and the Joint Declaration on a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership signed by the Prime Ministers in August 2008 and June 2015 respectively.