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20 Indo-Pacific Maritime Forces Commence 22nd SEACAT Exercise

15 August 2023

From Lt. j.g. Rebecca Moore

SINGAPORE -- Maritime forces from 20 Indo-Pacific partner nations, including the U.S. Navy, and non-governmental and international organizations, began the 22nd iteration of Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (SEACAT) in the Republic of Singapore, Aug. 14, 2023. This year included India for the first time since the series began over two decades ago.

Lt. Susumu Jones, master of ceremonies, welcomes participants to the opening ceremony of Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (SEACAT) 2023 in Singapore, Aug 14. SEACAT is a multilateral, multi-platform exercise including ashore and at-sea training evolutions that emphasizes real-world engagements to enhance cooperation and maritime security capabilities in the Indo-Pacific.
SINGAPORE (Aug. 14, 2023) – Lt. Susumu Jones, master of ceremonies, welcomes participants to the opening ceremony of Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (SEACAT) 2023 in Singapore, Aug 14. SEACAT is a multilateral, multi-platform exercise including ashore and at-sea training evolutions that emphasizes real-world engagements to enhance cooperation and maritime security capabilities in the Indo-Pacific. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brandon Parker)
Lt. Susumu Jones, master of ceremonies, welcomes participants to the opening ceremony of Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (SEACAT) 2023 in Singapore, Aug 14. SEACAT is a multilateral, multi-platform exercise including ashore and at-sea training evolutions that emphasizes real-world engagements to enhance cooperation and maritime security capabilities in the Indo-Pacific.
SEACAT 2023 Opening Ceremony
SINGAPORE (Aug. 14, 2023) – Lt. Susumu Jones, master of ceremonies, welcomes participants to the opening ceremony of Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (SEACAT) 2023 in Singapore, Aug 14. SEACAT is a multilateral, multi-platform exercise including ashore and at-sea training evolutions that emphasizes real-world engagements to enhance cooperation and maritime security capabilities in the Indo-Pacific. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brandon Parker)
Photo By: Brandon Parker
VIRIN: 230814-N-XX389-1029

SEACAT is a multilateral exercise designed to enhance cooperation among Indo-Pacific nations and provide mutual support towards addressing crises, contingencies, and illegal activities in the maritime domain using standardized tactics, techniques, and procedures.

“This year’s SEACAT is the largest to date, with 20 countries and 14 ships in attendance. Throughout the ashore and at-sea events, the goal is to improve our capabilities to respond to crises, contingencies, or illegal activities in the maritime domain. SEACAT is fundamentally about improving information sharing and increasing our collective maritime domain awareness,” said U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Chris Stone, commander, Task Force 76/3 and Expeditionary Strike Group 7. “I view multinational force operations as the cornerstone of maritime security, which in turn contributes to peace and prosperity in the region and enables a free and open Indo-Pacific in which we collectively commit to following the international rules-based order.”

The exercise allows for several exchanges and training on multilateral cooperation in support of maintaining rules and norms in the maritime domain across the Indo-Pacific. During the opening ceremony for the exercise, U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Chris Stone, commander, Task Force 76/3 and Expeditionary Strike Group 7, spoke about the importance of partnership and working together to be able to provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

SEACAT is a multilateral, multi-platform exercise including ashore and at-sea training evolutions that emphasizes real-world engagements to enhance cooperation and maritime security capabilities in the Indo-Pacific.
230814-N-HG389-1122 SINGAPORE (Aug. 14, 2023) – Participants of Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (SEACAT) 2023 pose for a photograph at the conclusion of the opening ceremony in Singapore, Aug 14. SEACAT is a multilateral, multi-platform exercise including ashore and at-sea training evolutions that emphasizes real-world engagements to enhance cooperation and maritime security capabilities in the Indo-Pacific. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brandon Parker)
SEACAT is a multilateral, multi-platform exercise including ashore and at-sea training evolutions that emphasizes real-world engagements to enhance cooperation and maritime security capabilities in the Indo-Pacific.
230814-N-HG389-1122
230814-N-HG389-1122 SINGAPORE (Aug. 14, 2023) – Participants of Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (SEACAT) 2023 pose for a photograph at the conclusion of the opening ceremony in Singapore, Aug 14. SEACAT is a multilateral, multi-platform exercise including ashore and at-sea training evolutions that emphasizes real-world engagements to enhance cooperation and maritime security capabilities in the Indo-Pacific. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brandon Parker)
Photo By: Petty Officer 1st Class Brandon Parker
VIRIN: 230814-N-HG389-1122


SEACAT promotes shared commitments to maritime partnerships, security, and stability in Southeast Asia. Twenty nations participated this year, including Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Canada, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Maldives, New Zealand, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, United Kingdom, United States, and Vietnam.

For this iteration of SEACAT, the first week of the exercise will be a shore phase. This will include a maritime domain awareness (MDA) seminar and visit, board, search, and seizure (VBSS) workshop. The seminar features presentations and interactive, small group breakout sessions with representatives from all participating nations. The VBSS workshop will be led by members of the U.S. Coast Guard Maritime Security Response Team (USCG MSRT).

Shore-based training will also include an unmanned aerial systems (UAS) workshop covering a broad range of tactics and procedures for SEACAT participants to develop MDA.

“Training together develops capability and trust among participating countries, fosters cooperation and provides mutual support in response to a crisis or illegal activity in the maritime domain,” said Capt. Sean Lewis, commodore, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7. “The collaboration and advanced maneuvers that we are executing, the skill level that is on display, and the enthusiasm of the participants is unmatched. I am continually impressed when I see how much we can do together. Our success here makes me confident in our ability to grow stronger relationships with our partners and maintain continued peace and security in this region.”

During week two of the exercise, the sea phase, Singapore will serve as a centralized hub for crisis coordination and information sharing. Countries will work with all available MDA tools to provide cueing and contact information to another country’s operations center and maritime patrol reconnaissance aircraft or surface assets to further advance interoperability. Participants will also receive training in boarding operations by multiple nations designed to simulate real-world at-sea environments. USCG MSRT members will embark the vessel and facilitate participants’ VBSS training.

“Throughout SEACAT, I hope each of you take the time to get to know each other, especially those from countries other than your own,” said Stone. “At the end of SEACAT, I want all of us to be able to look back on our engagements and say we are closer to our desired end states. It’s the relationships and experience we build in forums like these that we carry with us, throughout the rest of our fleets.

SEACAT is a multilateral, multi-platform exercise including ashore and at-sea training evolutions that emphasizes real-world engagements to enhance cooperation and maritime security capabilities in the Indo-Pacific.
230814-N-HG389-1087 SINGAPORE (Aug. 14, 2023) – U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Connor Nelson, maritime security response team for visit, board, search, and seizure (VBSS), provides remarks during the opening ceremony of Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (SEACAT) 2023 at the Concorde Hotel in Singapore, Aug 14. SEACAT is a multilateral, multi-platform exercise including ashore and at-sea training evolutions that emphasizes real-world engagements to enhance cooperation and maritime security capabilities in the Indo-Pacific. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brandon Parker)
SEACAT is a multilateral, multi-platform exercise including ashore and at-sea training evolutions that emphasizes real-world engagements to enhance cooperation and maritime security capabilities in the Indo-Pacific.
230814-N-HG389-1087
230814-N-HG389-1087 SINGAPORE (Aug. 14, 2023) – U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Connor Nelson, maritime security response team for visit, board, search, and seizure (VBSS), provides remarks during the opening ceremony of Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (SEACAT) 2023 at the Concorde Hotel in Singapore, Aug 14. SEACAT is a multilateral, multi-platform exercise including ashore and at-sea training evolutions that emphasizes real-world engagements to enhance cooperation and maritime security capabilities in the Indo-Pacific. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brandon Parker)
Photo By: Petty Officer 1st Class Brandon Parker
VIRIN: 230814-N-HG389-1087


U.S. Navy participants include staff of DESRON 7, a P-8A Poseidon aircraft assigned to Task Force 72, and personnel from Task Force 76/3, Military Sealift Command Far East, U.S. 7th Fleet, and U.S. Pacific Fleet.

As the U.S. Navy’s forward-deployed DESRON in Southeast Asia, DESRON 7 serves as the primary tactical and operational commander of littoral combat ships rotationally deployed to Singapore, functions as Commander, Task Force 76/3 Sea Combat Commander, and builds partnerships through training exercises and military-to-military engagements as the executing agent of Commander, Task Group CARAT.

U.S. 7th Fleet is the U.S. Navy's largest forward-deployed numbered fleet, and routinely interacts and operates with allies and partners in preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

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