New Zealand taking part in Singapore’s first International Maritime Review

HMNZS Te Kaha commanded the task group at sea for Exercise Bersama Shield 2017, held ahead of Singapore’s International Maritime Review. In this picture Singapore’s RSS Stalwart is leading the group with HMNZS Endeavour astern of her and Te Kaha to the left. Te Kaha’s SH-2G(I) Seasprite helicopter is in the air. // © Commonwealth of Australia

Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) ships HMNZS Te Kaha and HMNZS Endeavour are among those taking part in the Republic of Singapore Navy’s first ever International Maritime Review (IMR) today (15 May).

The highlight of a series of events to mark the Singapore Navy’s 50th Anniversary, the IMR features 30 ships from 20 countries, including Australia, China, Japan, Russia and the United States.

Chief of Navy Rear Admiral John Martin, who is attending the event, says that for the Navy, the relationship with Singapore is a very important one.

“This is especially so in the security domain, where both countries work closely together,” he said.

“The two Navies have worked together very successfully for many years. A New Zealand naval officer commanded one of the RSN’s ships in the early years, and both Navies have benefited from joint training and conducting operations together, particularly counter-piracy work. In addition, many New Zealand sailors have had the privilege of visiting Singapore and enjoying the hospitality and culture.

“I am looking forward to presenting the RSN with a tewhatewha as a birthday gift, one which also acknowledges their role as a leader in regional naval affairs.”

The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) frequently exercises with Singapore as a member of the Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA). RSS Resolution, a Republic of Singapore Navy Endurance class Landing Platform Dock ship, was in Auckland in November last year for the RNZN’s 75th Anniversary.

In the lead-up to the IMR, Te Kaha and Endeavour have just participated in a multi-lateral sea exercise with Western Pacific navies to promote procedural interoperability and enhance mutual understanding.

The Commanding Officer of Te Kaha, Commander Steve Lenik, said it’s a great feeling seeing the New Zealand ships feature in such a special day for Singapore’s Navy.

“Singapore is one of New Zealand’s closest defence partners in South-east Asia, and being a part of this really demonstrates that relationship. There’s a real feeling of celebration here. Happy 50th birthday to the Republic of Singapore’s Navy!”

The International Maritime Review coincides with the International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Security Conference involving militaries and industry from all over the world, and the RNZN has been invited to speak at the event.