Distinguished attendees listen to the keynote address at the opening ceremony of exercise Deep Sabre 2016 at Changi Naval Base. (U.S. Navy/PO1 Micah Blechner)

SINGAPORE - U.S. personnel from across the U.S. Pacific Command joined nation partners and allies in Singapore for Exercise Deep Sabre, Sept 27-30.

Deep Sabre is a multinational proliferation security initiative (PSI) and maritime security exercise involving nations of the Asia-Pacific Exercise Rotation including the U.S., Singapore, Australia, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea. Additionally, representatives of 21 nations from the PSI operational experts group were on hand to observe portions of the training scenarios and participate in symposia and information sharing engagements.

The multinational exercise promotes capacity building and information sharing among countries to counter the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and related materials. The collaboration among nations is also intended to provide a strong deterrent against proliferation activities.

"This is a critical exercise for demonstrating the principles of the proliferation security initiative," said Dr. Wendin Smith, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction. "We all have expertise and ideas that we can share in these forums and Deep Sabre provides a venue to facilitate these exchanges."

The training regimen comprised of table top scenarios with subject matter expert exchanges, a harbor phase where units rehearsed cargo interdiction capabilities, and an at-sea phase that featured partner navies cooperating in visit, board, search, and seizure (VBSS) on a maritime vessel of interest.

"This is a great opportunity to operate at sea alongside our allies and partners in a dynamic and complex training environment," said Captain Adolfo Ibarra, commanding officer of USS Port Royal (CG 73). "We are increasing our ability to cooperate efficiently with other navies and respond to a host of contingencies in the maritime domain.”

Deep Sabre continues to enhance international and regional cooperation that strengthens proliferation security. As proliferation networks grow increasingly more complex, multilateral cooperation will remain essential to proliferation security.

The proliferation security initiative is a multinational initiative launched in 2003 to encourage international cooperation to stop the trafficking of WMD, their delivery systems, and related materials. To date, 105 countries around the world have endorsed PSI and are working together to counter the global threat of WMD proliferation.