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News   Partnerships

Austin Meets With Singapore, Indo-Pacific Defense Officials

June 10, 2022 | BY Jim Garamone , DOD News

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III met today with Singaporean Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen, the first in an intense round of meetings with Indo-Pacific allies.

Austin is attending the International Institute for Strategic Studies' Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore. The event draws defense officials from around the world, but especially from the Indo-Pacific, and Austin is taking advantage of that to meet with many of them.

Two seated men wearing suits talk to each other.
Defense Leaders
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III meets with Singapore Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, June 9, 2022.
Photo By: Chad J. McNeeley, DOD
VIRIN: 220610-D-TT977-0095
Three men wearing suits and face masks stand side-by-side and pose for a photo.
Leaders Meet
Jonathan Kaplan, U.S. ambassador to Singapore, left; Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III, center; and Singapore Defense Minister Dr. Ng Eng Hen meet for bilateral discussions at the start of the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore June 10, 2022.
Photo By: Jim Garamone, DOD
VIRIN: 220610-D-FM714-001C

In addition to meeting with officials from Singapore, the secretary will meet with Indonesian and Vietnamese defense officials before meeting with representatives from China.

The secretary will also participate in a large meeting with nine of 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

The island nation of Singapore is a security stalwart in the region. "Singapore has been the most reliable partner in Southeast Asia for decades in terms of facilitating U.S. forward presence," a senior defense official said.

Multiple men wearing business suits participate in a meeting.
Minister Meeting
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III, center, meets with the 10 ministers of defense from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, June 10, 2022.
Photo By: Chad J. McNeeley, DOD
VIRIN: 220609-D-TT977-0272

That partnership has been critical in allowing the United States to be present and engaged and also to respond to crises around the region.

In the meeting, Austin thanked Ng for his country's assistance and help and indicated the two would discuss ways to make an already strong partnership even stronger.