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Sep 03, 2019 / 18:16

ASEAN-US military exercise aims to enhance situational awareness: US Navy Admiral

The navies are exercising a combined task force structure in real world scenarios.

The first-ever ASEAN-US Maritime Exercise (AUMX) which is taking place in the Gulf of Thailand and the South China Sea aims to enhance situational awareness and interoperability for all of ASEAN states and the US, said a US Navy officer. 
US Navy Rear Admiral Joey Tynch, Commander of the Logistics Group, Western Pacific. Photo: DVIDS
US Navy Rear Admiral Joey Tynch, Commander of the Logistics Group, Western Pacific. Photo: DVIDS

“The ASEAN-US exercise is a significant event and a positive step toward building a more networked region. And that’s the key for maintaining stability and security in the maritime domain,” US Navy Rear Admiral Joey Tynch, III, Commander of the Logistics Group, Western Pacific. 

Being Commander of Task Force 73 in Singapore, he oversees theater security cooperation for the United States Navy in the region.

“The challenges we face in the maritime domain extend beyond what any single nation can handle, and that’s where partners and allies are force multipliers for peace and interoperability. That’s an unparalleled advantage that no competitor or rival can match.  I fully believe we are stronger when we sail together,” Rear Admiral Joey Tynch said at a teleconference on September 3.

“One of the unique characteristics of AUMX is that we’re exercising a combined task force structure, and this is exactly how navies structure themselves in real world scenarios to work together and best leverage their forces,” he said.  

“When we kicked this off, we gave the planners a challenge -- that this AUMX was not going to be a symbolic event, that we needed an exercise that would provide value for each of the countries,” he added.

AUMX, which has been a year-long process, has eight ships participating, four aircraft, over a thousand sailors, which is  taking place right now, as well as three contracted vessels that providing realistic training for  visit, board, search and seizure scenarios, according to the officer.

In answering the question on Vietnam’s participation in the exercise, he said Vietnam has been a tremendous partner and a tremendous member of the team. 

Vietnam has provided a corvette as part of Task Group 3. Vietnam has done a tremendous job throughout the planning process, interacting yesterday at the opening ceremonies, the officer said, adding that he’s been very pleased with Vietnam’s participation 

Rear Admiral Joey Tynch said he was in Vietnam’s Phu Yen province as part of Pacific Partnership 19 this year, and was very impressed with the professionalism of everyone he met in Vietnam as they conducted that exercise.  

When being asked about the possibility of similar joint exercise, Rear Admiral Tynch said “there are exercises throughout the region the entire time, and that planning process continues, and will continue, for years to come as we continue to show our commitment to the region.”