More than 1,500 U.S. and Singapore troops, aircraft, a submarine and 12 ships are taking part in the two-week Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training, or CARAT, in the South China Sea.The US Navy's Logistics Group Western Pacific, based in Singapore, is a key player.
Washington fears that al-Qaida linked militants could launch a terror strike in the nearby Malacca Strait, which borders Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, and is plied by 50,000 commercial ships a year.
More than half the world's oil and a third of its commerce pass through the 900-kilometer (550-mile) strait. A bombing could paralyze its sea traffic for months.
Much of the CARAT exercise will involve training to prevent maritime terror strikes _ such as the seizure of vessels and attacks by small boats, a tactic used by al-Qaida in the past.
(Hat tip: The Counterterrorism Blog)