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Launch of Eyes In The Sky Initiative


Launch of Eyes in the Sky (EiS) Initiative

During the last Shangri-La Dialogue in June 2005 in Singapore, the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia proposed the Eyes in the Sky (EiS) concept to enhance the security in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore.
Being a strategic channel and vital to international trade, the security of the Straits is of paramount importance to the littoral states, users states and other stakeholders.
As such, the three littoral states (Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore) and Thailand had agreed to enhance cooperation by conducting combined maritime air patrols over the Straits of Malacca and Singapore while respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the littoral states.
The EiS is a component of the Malacca Straits Security Initiative (MSSI) aimed to attain maritime domain awareness over the Straits of Malacca and Singapore, and shall be initially undertaken by the three littoral states together with Thailand.
Other friendly states and stakeholders would be welcomed in the near future after a period of review with the agreement of the littoral states.
At the initial stage, the Armed Forces of the participating states would provide the necessary resources in terms of maritime patrol aircraft and a Combined Maritime Patrol Team (CMPT) on board the aircraft.
The area of operations for this project will include the international and national airspace over the Straits of Malacca and Singapore.
An EiS Operations Centre will be established in each of the participating states to coordinate the flight schedule.
Initially, each participating state will conduct up to 2 patrols per week along the designated sectors of the area of operations.
A Monitoring and Action Agency (MAA) will also be set up in each of the participating states to establish a listening watch during all EiS flights and subsequently co-ordinate among themselves to undertake any follow-on responses within their own territorial waters, if required.
The CMPT is to establish a comprehensive surface picture over the designated area by broadcasting any suspicious contact on designated radio frequencies to the MAA.
Laterally, this combined project by the four neighbour states has been presented to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) meeting last week from 7-8 September 2005 in Jakarta to inform the international community of the security arrangement over the Straits of Malacca and Singapore.
This is part of the initiatives taken to build confidence amongst the user states and other stakeholders of the straits.

Source: News Release 13 Sep 2005


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13 September 2005