Enhancing maritime security through closer information sharing

The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) successfully organized the biennial Maritime Information Sharing Exercise (MARISX). This is the 7th edition of MARISX. Held from July 27 to 29 2021, the year’s MARISX was conducted virtually from the Information Fusion Centre (IFC) located at the Changi Command and Control Centre in RSS Singapura – Changi Naval Base.

The exercise involved more than 160 personnel from 37 countries. They comprised international liaison officers (ILO) based in Singapore, representatives such as company security officers from the shipping community, personnel from operations centers and information sharing centers, and subject matter experts from regional and international maritime organizations.

First conducted in 2009, MARISX provides a regular platform for the IFC and its maritime security partners to exercise operational linkages and exchange best practices to deal with incidents arising from six key maritime security categories– theft, robbery and piracy at sea; contraband and weapons smuggling; maritime incidents; illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing; irregular human migration; and maritime terrorism. 

MARISX involved the IFC and its ILOs coordinating information exchange and operational responses real time with partners participating from their respective countries entirely via virtual means. The realistic exercise design helped strengthen mutual confidence in established processes and partners’ abilities to deal with maritime security threats together. For the first time, IFC’s key shipping partners also dovetailed their companies’ security drills with MARISX, with their ships participating real-time while out at sea.

In his opening remarks, Deputy Commander Maritime Security Task Force/Maritime Security Command, Colonel Rinson Chua said that he was heartened by the strong participation in the 7th MARISX, which is testament to the shared commitment amongst the IFC and its partners to promote information exchange and cooperation. 

He added, “The maritime security landscape has evolved in both scale and complexity over the years, with transnational threats evolving continually. COVID-19 further complicated matters in ways we have never experienced before. More than ever, information sharing and practical cooperation are vital. Platforms like MARISX provide opportunities for all stakeholders to continue honing our responses and linkages in keeping our seas safe.”

The IFC is a regional maritime security center which facilitates information-sharing and collaboration between its partners to solve common maritime security issues. It also shares information with its regional partners on a regular basis to aid them in deterring possible perpetrators and to facilitate successful responses to maritime security threats.

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