In a move to better secure the landscape where China has been fast tracking its ventures at disputed territories, the United States will be sending two Littoral combat ships to Singapore sometime in 2019. With the South China Sea increasingly besieged by expansions and occupations, the approach will affirm American support to the region.
The presence of the US naval assets has increased in this part of the world. Admiral Philip Davidson, the head of the US Indo-Pacific Command, divulges that most of the superpower’s military resources are situated in the region.
Around 380,000 military and civilian personnel are currently employed in the Indo-Pacific area which covers the waters from America’s West Coast to India’s Western border and from Antarctica to the North Pole. The coverage includes about half of the face of the globe.
With India gaining confidence as an emerging nation, an adjustment has been made. Considering the large country’s growing importance and influence to the Pentagon, Admiral Davidson’s sphere of responsibility has been set in place. His division has replaced the US Pacific Command last year.
The stationing of the littoral combat ships in Singapore is intended to reinforce the reconnaissance and surveillance operations in the area. The truth is this move is already delayed. Rear Admiral Charles Williams, the former Commander of the Logistics Group Western Pacific in the island-state, shares that the US Navy had intended this to happen in 2015.
Back in 2013, three ships of the littoral type were sent to Singapore. The last naval vessel, which was the USS Coronado, completed its 14-month tour of duty. It left the port last November 2017. These US assets, which are based in Sembawang, supports ships in the Indian and Western Pacific Oceans.
In line with this, the United States is presently negotiating for an extension of an agreement that will allow its personnel to gain access to military facilities in Singapore. Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Maliki Osman says that the two sides are working on reaffirming the 1990 agreement by next year.