November 1, 2002

Singapore intensifies maritime security measures
The Singapore Ministry of Defense (MINDEF) yesterday issued a statement noting that maritime security is a vital component of Singapore's national security. Since September 11 last year, the security measures in the Singapore Straits and territorial waters have been constantly reviewed and enhanced. The maritime security agencies, in particular the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN), the Police Coast Guard (PCG), and the Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) are ready and vigilant, working in close co-ordination with one another to protect Singapore against sea-borne threats.

RSN and PCG vessels conduct routine patrols along the Singapore Straits. The RSN also conducts random escort operations for high value merchant vessels. In addition, security measures have been enhanced to protect stationary vessels along the straits and in Singapore territorial waters. Maritime security procedures and systems are regularly tested out during exercises. The most recent of these was a joint exercise code-named Exercise Apex (29-31 Oct 02).

The integrated surveillance and information network at the Port Operations Control Centre is an important element enabling the close co-ordination among the maritime security agencies. The centre is operated round the clock by the MPA and can be augmented by personnel from the RSN when required. The Vessel Traffic Information System or VTIS allows the centre to monitor and provide timely information to maritime vessels transiting the straits. It also maintains close communication with the RSN and PCG operations centres.

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