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Singapore to join counter-piracy unit - --- - 04-11-2009

Singapore to join counter-piracy unit
Published: April 9, 2009 at 6:38 PM


SINGAPORE, April 9 (UPI) -- The Singapore Ministry of Defense announced Thursday a naval vessel equipped with helicopters has deployed for counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden.

Rear Adm. Chew Men Leong, Singapore navy chief, held a send-off ceremony Thursday for the naval unit at Singapore's Changi Naval Base and said the deployment is part of an effort to support the international community combating violent piracy off the coast of Somalia, the Singapore Ministry of Defense reported.

Singapore is sending 240 personnel aboard the RSS Persistence, a navy landing ship. The RSS Persistence, which deployed with two Super Puma helicopters, will support the multinational Combined Task Force 151 currently operating in the volatile Horn of Africa region.

The Singapore navy deployment comes just days after pirates attempted to hijack the 17,000-ton U.S.-flagged cargo vessel Maersk Alabama, making headlines around the world.

"(Chew) said Singapore shared the concerns of the international community regarding the situation in the Gulf of Aden and supported international efforts to keep the sea lanes safe and secure," the Ministry of Defense reported.

UPI