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Thursday, September 08, 2005

Malacca Strait Air Patrols Begin --Next Week

Reported here:
The 'Eye in the Sky' (EiS) combined maritime air patrol to enhance the safety and security of the Malacca Straits will be launched on Sept 13 with the first flight coming out of the Subang Airbase in Kuala Lumpur.

Assistant Chief of Operations, Western Fleet Command of the Indonesian Navy, Col Suryo Wiranto said Defence Ministers of the three littoral states-- Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore -- plus Thailand would jointly launch the EiS, the first ever coordinated multilateral initiative to guard shipping in the straits.

'This multilateral initiative will help to optimise air surveillance of the participating countries by providing intelligence and information aimed at enhancing the immediate action of the naval patrolling units along the Malacca Straits,' he said in his briefing at the Jakarta Meeting on the Straits of Malacca and Singapore here Thursday.

He said the aircraft involved would report to the various Ops Centres of the participating countries which would then coordinate among themselves any follow-up action required.

Under the EiS initiative, each state will conduct up to two air patrols per week along the Malacca and Singapore Straits, with each flight carrying a combined mission patrol team that would consist of personnel from the participating states, Suryo added.

RSAF Maritime Patrol Aircraft

From Singapore: "A spokesman from the Singapore's Defence Ministry confirmed that the Republic will, for a start, contribute two Fokker-50 patrols per week." (source) Singapore Air Force Aircraft information here.

Watch for an announcement of "war risk" insurance rates being lowered in the area now that some coordinated action is being taken...

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