The US reaffirmed its commitment to deepen its practical cooperation with ASEAN on areas of mutual interest including humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR).
“The multilateral exercises that we do with ASEAN provide valuable platforms as it brings in other partner countries to operate closely together, hence contributing not only to regional, but global security,” said Commander of the United States Pacific Command (US PACOM), Admiral Samuel Locklear when he called on the Deputy Secretary-General for ASEAN Political Security Community, H. E. Nyan Lynn at the ASEAN Secretariat.
Admiral Locklear, who was accompanied by the US Ambassador to Indonesia, H. E. Robert Blake, joined DSG Nyan Lynn in highlighting the value and benefit of the HADR exercises under the various ASEAN-led mechanism such as the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) Plus. The various exercises, such as the ADMM-Plus Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief/Military Medicine, ADMM-Plus Maritime Security Field Training Exercise, the ADMM-Plus Counter-Terrorism Exercise and the ARF Disaster Relief Exercise, held in 2013 involved resources and personnel from the military and civilian agencies.
Admiral Locklear also emphasised the United States’ strong commitment to support ASEAN in its endeavours to promote peace and security in the region. He informed the Deputy Secretary-General that the US PACOM has the resources available to support and assist ASEAN. The US PACOM has assigned personnel to assist the United States Ambassador to ASEAN in Jakarta. The US, the Admiral said, also stands ready to assist Myanmar in its capacity as the ASEAN Chair this year, and incoming Chair, Malaysia in 2015.
At the conclusion of the courtesy call, Admiral Locklear informed DSG Nyan Lynn on the preparation for the upcoming informal dialogue between ASEAN Defence Ministers and the United States Secretary of Defence in Hawaii in early April this year.