SINGAPORE NAVY TO ESCORT MERCHANT SHIPS
The Singapore Navy will launch its "Accompanying Sea Security Teams" sometime in March. Each team will include eight navy personnel capable of operating a commercial vessel during an emergency. They will wear bullet-proof vests and carry weapons, but will not have arrest powers, which will remain with the Police Coast Guard. Currently, about 1,000 vessels transit the Singapore Strait daily. The ships range from tankers and container ships to ferries which link Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia.