The Singapore Army is hosting the 18th ASEAN Chiefs of Army Multilateral Meeting (ACAMM) and the 7th ASEAN Sergeant Majors Annual Meeting (ASMAM) from 20 to 23 November 2017. The ACAMM and the ASMAM are annual meetings among the Chiefs of Army (COA) and the Sergeant Majors of the Army (SMA) from the 10 ASEAN countries respectively.

The opening ceremonies of the 18th ACAMM and 7th ASMAM were held at Swissotel The Stamford this morning. Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant-General Perry Lim and COA Major-General (MG) Melvyn Ong delivered the keynote address and opening remarks respectively at ACAMM, while the Singapore Armed Forces Sergeant Major Chief Warrant Officer (CWO) Ng Siak Ping and SMA CWO Teo See Keong delivered the keynote address and opening remarks respectively at ASMAM.

Addressing about 100 delegates at the opening ceremony, MG Ong spoke on the topic "Building Cooperation against Transnational Threats". Recognising that transnational threats such as terrorism and cybersecurity pose a rising challenge to regional security and have the "potential to undermine the stability and well-being of all ASEAN member states and the wider ASEAN region," MG Ong stressed the need for ASEAN armies to continue working together to overcome them through the "collaboration and practical cooperation of our combined capabilities and responses." The ASEAN COAs also signed a Joint Declaration at ACAMM, which included an agreement to launch an annual information-sharing workshop among ASEAN armies to enhance mutual learning and foster information-sharing. Singapore will conduct the inaugural workshop in 2018.

Conducted annually among ASEAN countries on a rotational basis, the ACAMM is a multilateral military conference that brings together Army Chiefs and delegates from the ASEAN armies to exchange views on security issues affecting the region. The ACAMM also provides the opportunity for the ASEAN Army Chiefs to strengthen professional ties through confidence-building measures and initiatives. The inaugural ACAMM was conducted in Thailand in 2000. Singapore first hosted ACAMM in 2002, and again in 2009.

The ASEAN COAs also called on Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen at the Ministry of Defence this afternoon while the ASEAN SMAs visited the Specialist and Warrant Officer Institute (SWI) and Multi-Mission Range Complex where they toured the SWI Heritage Centre and fired the SAR21 respectively.

Conducted concurrently with the ACAMM, the ASMAM provides a useful platform for ASEAN SMAs to network and share professional experiences, hence further enhancing the strong relationship between the ASEAN armies. The inaugural ASMAM was conducted in Indonesia in 2011 and this is the first time Singapore is hosting the ASMAM.

The 10 ASEAN armies will come together tomorrow for the closing ceremony of the 27th ASEAN Armies Rifle Meet, which is held in Singapore from 6 to 22 Nov 2017. The shooting competition, involving 500 sharpshooters for this year's edition, has been an important platform that bolsters professional interaction, and strengthens social bonds and camaraderie amongst the ASEAN armies.