U.S. Navy Expects to Base Ships in Singapore .

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Zebra, Dec 18, 2011.

  1. Zebra

    Zebra Senior Member Senior Member

    Mar 18, 2011
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    Agence France-Presse , Published: 17 Dec 2011 13:04

    WASHINGTON - The United States, facing a rising China but a tighter budget, expects to station several combat ships in Singapore and may step up deployments to the Philippines and Thailand, a naval officer said.

    In an academic article forecasting the shape of the U.S. Navy in 2025, Adm. Jonathan Greenert, chief of naval operations, wrote that "we will station several of our newest littoral combat ships" in Singapore.

    Greenert said that the United States may also step up the periodic deployment of aircraft such as the P-8A Poseidon - which is being developed to track submarines - to regional treaty allies the Philippines and Thailand.

    "The Navy will need innovative approaches to staying forward around the world to address growing concerns about freedom of the seas while being judicious with our resources," he wrote in the December issue of the U.S. Naval Institute's Proceedings.

    "Because we will probably not be able to sustain the financial and diplomatic cost of new main operating bases abroad, the fleet of 2025 will rely more on host-nation ports and other facilities where our ships, aircraft, and crews can refuel, rest, resupply and repair while deployed," he wrote.

    The naval officer did not directly mention China, as part of the usual policy by U.S. President Barack Obama's administration to publicly seek a more cooperative relationship with the growing Asian power.

    But the United States has laid bare its concerns about China.

    Obama last month announced that the United States would post up to 2,500 Marines in the northern Australian city of Darwin by 2016-17, a move criticized by Beijing.

    The United States also has some 70,000 troops stationed in Japan and South Korea under longstanding alliances and has offered assistance to the Philippines which launched its newest warship on Dec. 14.

    Singapore is also a long-standing partner of the United States. The U.S. military already operates a small post in the city-state that assists in logistics and exercises for forces in Southeast Asia.

    In the article, Greenert described the Gulf monarchy of Bahrain as a model. The U.S. Fifth Fleet is based on the small island which is strategically close to Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran.

    "In 2025 the Navy will operate from a larger number of partner nations such as Bahrain to more affordably maintain our forward posture around the world," he wrote.

    The United States spent some $700 billion on its military in the past year, far more than any other country, and many lawmakers accept the need for cuts as the Iraq and Afghan operations wind down.

    The Obama administration has identified Asia - full of fast-growing economies and with a still emerging security order - as the key priority for the United States.

    Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta all traveled to Asia in recent months to hammer home the message that the United States will not leave the region despite economic woes at home.

    "As the United States puts our fiscal house in order, we are reducing our spending," Obama said in his speech in Darwin.

    But he added: "Here is what this region must know. As we end today's wars, I have directed my national security team to make our presence and missions in the Asia-Pacific a top priority."

    Naval power, critical to the rise of the United States and earlier Britain as global powers, is expected to remain critical in the 21st century.

    China has developed its first aircraft carrier, which has undergone two sea trials this year. An image of the 300-meter (990-foot) refitted former Soviet carrier was captured by U.S.-based company Digital Globe Inc.

    U.S. Navy Expects to Base Ships in Singapore - Defense News
  3. Neil

    Neil Senior Member Senior Member

    Jun 23, 2010
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    U.S. Navy may station ships in Singapore, Philippines

    WASHINGTON/SINGAPORE (Reuters) - The U.S. Navy said it would station several new coastal combat ships in Singapore and perhaps in the Philippines in coming years, moves likely to fuel China's fears of being encircled and pressured in the South China Sea dispute.

    Regional defense analysts said the ships were small, but agreed the symbolism of the moves, which come after Washington announced it was increasing its engagement in Asia, would upset Beijing.

    Last month the United States and Australia announced plans to deepen the U.S. military presence in the Asia-Pacific region, with 2,500 U.S. Marines operating out of a de facto base in Darwin in northern Australia.

    In coming years, the U.S. Navy will increasingly focus on the strategic "maritime crossroads" of the Asia-Pacific region, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan Greenert wrote in the December issue of Proceedings, published by the U.S. Naval Institute.

    He said the navy planned to "station several of our newest littoral combat ships at Singapore's naval facility," in addition to the plans announced by President Barack Obama for marines to be based in Darwin from next year.

    "This will help the navy sustain its global forward posture with what may be a smaller number of ships and aircraft than today," he wrote.

    Littoral combat ships are shallow draft vessels that operate in coastal waters and can counter coastal mines, quiet diesel submarines and small, fast, armed boats.

    "If we put this into context, it's a fairly small scale of deployment and the combat ships are relatively small vessels," said Euan Graham, senior fellow in the Maritime Security Program at Singapore's S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies.

    "Encirclement is a phrase that does come up in Chinese debate about the U.S. strategy. They won't be happy about it, but there's nothing much that they can do to stop it."

    Greenert wrote the ships would focus on the South China Sea, conducting operations to counter piracy and trafficking, both of which are endemic in the area.

    "Similarly, 2025 may see P-8A Poseidon aircraft or unmanned broad area maritime surveillance aerial vehicles periodically deploy to the Philippines or Thailand to help those nations with maritime domain awareness."

    One source briefed on navy plans said there has also been discussion about stationing ships in the Philippines.


    The disputed ownership of the oil-rich reefs and islands in the South China Sea is one of the biggest security threats in Asia. The sea is claimed wholly or in part by China, Taiwan, the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam and Brunei.

    The shortest route between the Pacific and Indian Oceans, it has some of the world's busiest shipping lanes. More than half the globe's oil tanker traffic passes through it.

    Obama told Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao at a regional summit in November that the United States wanted to ensure the sea lanes were kept open and peaceful. Wen was described by U.S. officials as being "grouchy" later at the summit, when other Asian countries aligned with Washington.

    The Chinese premier said "outside forces" had no excuse to get involved in the complex maritime dispute, a veiled warning to the United States and other countries to keep out of the sensitive issue.

    "A modest marine presence in Australia - 2,500 marines is not a large offensive force by any means - and ships in Singapore do not mean it's all about China," Paul Dibb, the head of the Strategic and Defense Studies Centre at the Australian National University, told Reuters.

    "But having said that, China is being increasingly assertive on the high seas. So while I don't see the U.S. as encircling China, it would be silly to say China wasn't part of it."


    These developments on the littoral combat ships (LCS) are being closely watched by Lockheed Martin Corp, Australia's Austal, General Dynamics Corp and other arms makers that are building two models of the new warships for the U.S. Navy, and hope to sell them to other countries in coming years.

    "Because we will probably not be able to sustain the financial and diplomatic cost of new main operating bases abroad, the fleet of 2025 will rely more on host-nation ports and other facilities where our ships, aircraft, and crews can refuel, rest, resupply, and repair while deployed," Greenert wrote in the naval magazine.

    Ernie Bower, who is with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said the emerging strategy for Southeast Asia would be far different from the big U.S. bases established in Japan and South Korea in the past.

    "We're exploring a new arrangement with a smaller footprint, that is mission-specific, and culturally and politically more palatable to countries," he said, adding it would be difficult for Washington to drum up much political support for big bases in the region. Forward-stationing versus permanent bases would also save the navy money, he said.

    Greenert did not provide a timetable for the LCS stationing in Singapore.

    In the Philippines, a U.S. ally that has clashed several times with China over the South China Sea dispute, the moves were welcomed.

    "We're together in Asia Pacific and we face common security challenges," said defense spokesman Peter Paul Galvez.

    "We see several security challenges where we actually need inter-operability and interplay exercises including disasters, threats of terrorism, freedom of navigation, piracy and human trafficking. We cannot deny that we need their assistance in that aspect." (Additional reporting by Rob Taylor in Canberra and Manuel Mogato in Manila; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan and Alan Raybould)

    www.Washington post.com
    LETHALFORCE likes this.
  4. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

    Sep 28, 2011
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    North Carolina, USA
    USN needs to beef up its Shore Patrol while in Singapore. Just sayin'.

    Neil likes this.

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