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U.S.-Singapore Partnership Central to Expanding Regional Security, Prosperity

Nov. 3, 2021 | BY David Vergun , DOD News

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III welcomed Singapore Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen to the Pentagon today in an enhanced honor cordon ceremony. 

Defense secretary and another official stand on Pentagon steps, flanked by honor guard troops.
Anthem Moment
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III and Singapore Minister of Defense Ng Eng Hen stand for the playing of both countries' national anthems at the Pentagon, Nov. 3, 2021.
Photo By: Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Chris Roys
VIRIN: 211103-N-AT530-859Y


Austin said the United States values its relationships in Southeast Asia and its partnership with Singapore. 

"Our countries have long stood alongside each other through numerous challenges. This past year reminded us, yet again, of the strength of our partnership," he said, referring to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Afghanistan evacuation.

Singapore provided aid in the form of transport aircraft and armed forces personnel, and helped to relocate over 2,000 Afghan evacuees.

"Singapore has always been a strong, ready and willing partner on global security challenges," he added.

Austin said that he and Ng will discuss opportunities to strengthen the U.S.-Singapore defense partnership, including:

  • Bilateral force posture initiatives.
  • Expansion of joint training opportunities.
  • Addressing transnational security issues, including violent extremism and cybersecurity.

The Indo-Pacific region is seeing a lot of change and challenges, Austin said. "Our partnership will remain central to preserving and expanding the region's security and prosperity."

Ng thanked Austin for his visit to Singapore in July and said he appreciated the reciprocal invitation to visit that was extended to him to visit the Pentagon.

Officials meet at a long table.
Table Talk
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III speaks with Singapore Minister of Defense Ng Eng Hen during a bilateral exchange at the Pentagon, Nov. 3, 2021.
Photo By: Air Force Staff Sgt. Jackie Sanders, DOD
VIRIN: 211103-D-XI929-1015Y

Ng also said that Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong appreciated the August visit to Singapore by Vice President Kamala Harris and President Joe Biden's meeting with leaders on Oct. 26 at the U.S.-Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in Brunei.

ASEAN is an economic union made up of 10 member states in Southeast Asia. It promotes intergovernmental cooperation and facilitates economic, political, security, military, educational and sociocultural integration among its members and other countries in Asia.

The members of ASEAN are: Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia.