Surface Forces: August 19, 2003


Singapore has become a major base for the U.S. Navy. The small island republic has a well educated population (of only 3.3 million) and excellent infrastructure and is a popular port of call. But Singapore is a non-Moslem nation in the middle of a heavily Moslem area. To further protect the areas of the harbor where American warships often tie up, Singapore is taking five decommissioned LSTs and anchoring them in a line to block any potential seaborne attackers. Singapore has arrested about 30 suspected Islamic radicals in their territory in the past few years and interrogations revealed that one of the terrorist attacks planned was using small boats full of explosives against U.S. warships. Each LST is about 330 feet long, meaning the five ships will create a barrier some 500 meters long. The LSTs are only towed out for security duty when there are ships in port that might be targets.


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