The United States (US) Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General (GEN) Joseph Dunford was conferred Singapore's highest military award, the Darjah Utama Bakti Cemerlang (Tentera) [Distinguished Service Order (Military)], by President Tony Tan Keng Yam at the Istana this afternoon.

GEN Dunford was conferred the award for his contributions in enhancing relations between the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and the US Armed Forces. Under his leadership, both militaries have made significant strides in initiatives under the 2005 Strategic Framework Agreement and the 2015 enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement. The SAF and the US Armed Forces have built upon their long history of bilateral cooperation to pursue new initiatives in non-conventional security areas, including humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, cyber defence and biosecurity. Both militaries have also worked together in multinational coalition efforts, including ongoing efforts to defeat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria in the Middle East and counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden. These interactions have enhanced interoperability, mutual understanding and personal friendship between both armed forces.

Guests at the investiture included Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen, Second Minister for Defence Mr Ong Ye Kung, Senior Minister of State for Defence Dr Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman, Permanent Secretary for Defence Mr Chan Yeng Kit, Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant-General Perry Lim, as well as senior government officials and military officers from Singapore and the US.

GEN Dunford, who is in Singapore from 2 to 4 June, also called on Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Istana today. As part of his programme, he will call on Dr Ng tomorrow, and attend the Shangri-La Dialogue.

Source: Ministry Of Defence