SAF TURNS 50!
Celebrate with us at the SAF50@Vivo event, plus more exciting festivities in the year ahead.
Defence Policy & DiplomacySingapore's defence policy is fundamentally based on the twin pillars of deterrence and diplomacy.
Defence SpendingInvesting wisely and prudently to build up a strong and capable defence force.
Strengthen NSStrengthening NS as the critical institution for Singapore’s continued survival and success.
Total DefenceTotal Defence involves every Singaporean playing a part to build a strong, secure and cohesive nation.
3rd Generation SAFThe 3rd Generation SAF is a strong and integrated force that operates across a full spectrum of operations.
OVERSEAS OPERATIONSThe SAF contributes towards multinational humanitarian & security support operations.
Defence ProcurementMaintaining a robust and comprehensive procurement process to adhere to the most rigorous standards.
System of AuditsEnsuring a robust system of internal & external audits for accountability and transparency.
Anti-Corruption PolicyMINDEF and SAF adopt a zero-tolerance policy towards bribery and corruption.
30 Jan 2015, 1015 hours (GMT +8)
We have never met before and she turns up (early) with a box of sweet treats for the working crew. And despite having to wait quite long for her make-up and styling to be done, she is still all smiles when it comes to the interview. Meet Ms Wong Tien Kwan. Her job at Nexus is to inspire people to be more committed Singapore's defence and to love our country. She has worked on the annual Total Defence (TD) campaign and the ciNE65 short film competition which asks people to tell their Singapore stories through film. Last year's TD campaign was my most memorable experience; telling the Singapore story through everyday Singaporeans. Besides yoga, which she does thrice a week with her colleagues, Tien Kwan also likes to take photos, and she looks for quirky spots such as the venue of our photo shoot. I like the bright blue walls! she said of Centre 42, which is a facility dedicated to local theatre writing. Well, we like her too.
28 Jan 2015, 1049 hours (GMT +8)
Time is of the essence when it comes to saving lives. To strengthen existing casualty evacuation systems and allow casualties to receive appropriate levels of care within the shortest possible time, the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) has introduced a new SAF Emergency Ambulance Service (EAS). This will allow casualties to be evacuated from SAF training areas directly to pre-designated restructured hospitals while receiving appropriate care along the way. EAS ambulances will only be activated in the case of casualties with life- and/or limb-threatening injuries requiring urgent evacuation. In the past, in situations where there is no ambulance and Medical Officer (MO) on-site, a casualty is evacuated from the training area to the nearest appropriate medical facility (most often an SAF medical centre) by the SAF Medic. In the medical centre, the Medical Officer will treat and stabilise the casualty before accompanying him to the nearest hospital. With the new SAF EAS in place, a serious casualty will be evacuated to a casualty collection point (CCP) in the training area. A CCP is a specially constructed facility to facilitate the transfer of casualties onto the EAS ambulance. Simultaneously, an EAS Team is activated and will arrive at the CCP within 11 minutes of activation. The EAS Team will then stabilise and take over care of the casualty before evacuating him to the nearest hospital. The EAS team is headed by a paramedic and consists of three personnel. They are also currently running the National EAS system as SCDF 995-call responders. Once we receive the call, we will respond to (arrive at) the location, explained Mr Darren Wee, a Senior Ambulance Medical Orderly (SAMO) and member of an EAS Team. At the same time, we find out about the casualty's medical condition. We will then work towards stabilising the casualty while moving off to the hospital. Our role as a paramedic is to provide pre-hospital emergency care, added Ms Nurul Elfyana, who is also a member of an EAS Team. The EAS will thus strengthen the medical coverage for outfield training where there are no MO and ambulance on-site, expediting evacuation for serious casualties while providing appropriate care along the way. Noting that the EAS will complement the SAF's existing medical services, Military Expert 4-2 Koh Ping Wah, Formation Sergeant Major, Headquarters Army Medical Services, said: One key enhancement would be the continuity of care... The SAF Medic will now be able to do first line treatment before handing over the casualty to the paramedic in the training area, and the paramedic will provide critical resuscitative care while evacuating the casualty directly to the hospital. The SAF EAS Bases are strategically sited together with existing medical centres at six camps: Mandai Hill Camp, Nee Soon Camp, Kranji Camp, Keat Hong Camp, Pasir Laba Camp, and Sungei Gedong Camp. This allows EAS ambulances to reach designated CCPs at the Northern and Western training areas within 11 minutes.
28 Jan 2015, 1015 hours (GMT +8)
From the drawing board to the battlefield, it is a long journey before ammunition reaches the soldiers of the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF). Colonel (COL) (NS) Lim Beng Lee, however, has gone through every step of that process. For recruits, the weapon presentation is often a symbolic moment. It is the first time that they receive their Singapore Assault Rifle (SAR) 21, marking the beginning of their transition to trained soldiers. Before long, these same recruits will be at the range, fine-tuning their marksmanship as they fire the 5.56mm rounds. But have you ever wondered how the SAR 21 ends up in your hands? Just ask COL (NS) Lim, general manager of Advanced Materials Engineering (AME) which is responsible for the design and production of weapons such as the SAR 21, Ultimax 100 Section Automatic Weapon and 40mm Grenade Launcher, as well as their ammunition. Working at AME was a natural choice for COL (NS) Lim, who was the former Commander of SAF Ammunition Command (SAFAC). While in SAFAC, I focused on the end-products - the safety, quality, and security of ammunition were important areas that could have no compromises under my watch, he said. I hoped that I could also influence the up-stream activities (design and testing process) to ensure that the end-products would always be safe for usage, added COL (NS) Lim. AME provided me with this opportunity. Where it all started COL (NS) Lim fondly recalled when he first enlisted in December 1985, citing the camaraderie, esprit de corps and discipline of military life as what attracted him to sign on as a Regular. Army toughened me up and I felt a need to give back to the SAF. An infantry commander by vocation, COL (NS) Lim began his journey in logistics with a stint as an Operations Officer in 1st Transport Battalion. In 1999, he graduated as the top Army student in the 30th batch of the Singapore Command and Staff Course (now known as the Goh Keng Swee Command and Staff Course). Following that, COL (NS) Lim was given the opportunity by the Chief Supply and Transport Officer then to switch from the transport aspect of logistics to that of ammunition. He went on to attend courses such as the Ammunition Technical Course in the United Kingdom in 2001 to deepen his knowledge. Heart of SAF's firepower As Commanding Officer of SAF Ammunition Base and then Commander SAFAC from 2006 to 2011, COL (NS) Lim implemented a system of innovation and cooperation which would set the foundation for a long-term relationship with AME. We understood that there were many benefits to reap by working closely with our local defence industry, explained COL (NS) Lim. For instance, we worked with AME to embark on more efforts for the shelf-life assessment of ammunition, extending the useful life of ammunition without compromising on safety. In 2010, we also worked with AME to implement a Just-In-Time concept for the 40mm high explosive dual purpose rifle grenades. With this Just-In-Time concept, the SAF would rely on AME's inventory stocks of the 40mm rounds to meet ammunition requirements for operations as compared to stockpiling ammunition in SAF ammunition storehouses. This helped to reduce waste as it removed instances whereby the SAF had to dispose of excess stockpiled ammunition, COL (NS) Lim explained. Coming full circle After leaving the SAF in 2011, COL (NS) Lim took on the position of deputy general manager at AME before taking over as general manager in 2013. Now, he juggles the responsibilities of not only handling the technical aspects such as designs and planning, but also managing a workforce of over 600 individuals. Under his charge, AME has continued to produce and improve on a whole range of firearms for the SAF such as the ubiquitous SAR 21, and is now a world leader in 40mm rifle-launched grenades. One thing that remains clear to COL (NS) Lim, imbued in him from his days in the SAF, is a strong focus on safety. After more than three years in AME, I am confident that we have a robust system, he said. Each production division and individual is always clear that there is to be no compromise on safety and accountability. Today, my son is a section commander in 30 SCE (30th Battalion, Singapore Combat Engineers), COL (NS) Lim added. My motivation is to ensure that we manufacture ammunition that is safe enough such that I can confidently allow everyone, including my son, to use it.
26 Jan 2015, 1530 hours (GMT +8)
The threat of religious extremism in Asia stemming from the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and the need to monitor the dynamics among US, China and Japan. These were some of the key security concerns raised by Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen in his keynote address at the third International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Fullerton Forum: The Shangri-La Dialogue Sherpa Meeting, at the Fullerton Hotel on 26 Jan. Dr Ng was addressing about 60 delegates from 22 countries. Held from 25 to 27 Jan, the Sherpa meeting strengthens the Shangri-La Dialogue by providing an inter-sessional platform for delegates to engage in frank discussions on current defence and security issues. Besides the two concerns, Dr Ng also spoke of several other themes which should be raised at the upcoming Shangri-La Dialogue: Political stability for countries in Asia, like Thailand and Myanmar, and the impact on security; and how countries can better coordinate and work together in light of transnational challenges arising from disasters and cybersecurity. Dr Ng suggested three points. The first was to optimise current platforms to improve multilateralism and enhance regional security. He cited the Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief and Military Medicine Exercise in held in Brunei 2013, which featured over 3,000 personnel from 18 ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting-Plus countries, as one such example. Such practical cooperation builds confidence and mutual understanding which helps to prevent incidents on the ground from spiralling out of control because of misunderstandings or miscalculations. He added that, in order for these platforms to stay relevant, it was important for them to take it up to the next level of cooperation. Countries should use these multilateral platforms to proactively identify new initiatives, and enhance those proposed by others to tackle challenges in the changing geo-political landscape. Dr Ng's two other suggestions were for countries to focus on practical measures to tackle security challenges and deliver concrete outcomes; and to enhance collective efforts to build real capacity to respond to challenges quickly and effectively. On his final point, he elaborated that this was the reason Singapore established the Changi Regional HADR Coordination Centre (RHCC). He said: Our hope is that the RHCC can contribute to more effective multinational military responses to disasters, by enhancing operational coordination among military responders while minimising duplication and gaps in assistance. In closing, Dr Ng emphasised that, in today's interdependent world, countries must be on the same page to maintain peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. It is crucial for us to recognise that regional peace and stability depends on the collective will, and indeed the collective efforts, of nations to address the security challenges facing the region.
22 Jan 2015, 1800 hours (GMT +8)
The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) is turning 50, and it's pulling out all the stops to make this the most memorable birthday celebration. And what better place to unveil the SAF50 celebration plans than at Dempsey Hill, former home of the Central Manpower Base? During a media event held on 22 Jan at Unplugged The Live Music Room, Colonel (COL) Roland Ng, Director, Nexus and SAF50 co-secretariat, unveiled the SAF50 tagline - Our SAF : Giving Strength to Our Nation. The tagline was created after extensive consultation with Ministry of Defence and SAF personnel, pioneers, National Servicemen and Full-time National Servicemen and their families, as well as the larger Singaporean public. One consistent theme that came up (during the consultation) was 'strength' - the SAF derives strength from the support of our people. And at the same time, the SAF also gives strength to the nation to provide for its security and stability, said COL Ng. An activity-packed year Kicking off the year-long festivities is SAF50@Vivo, a large-scale event held at VivoCity from 12 to 15 Feb. There, Defence Minister Dr Ng Eng Hen will officially launch the SAF50 celebrations on 12 Feb. Describing the event as a combined open house, Military Expert (ME) 7 Andy Tay, Commander Naval Logistics Command and Co-Chairman of SAF50@Vivo, said: This time around, we are having a tri-service event. The Navy, together with the Army and Air Force, will be bringing our military assets and capabilities to VivoCity. Visitors can look forward to getting up close to military hardware such as the Super Puma helicopter, the Heron unmanned aerial vehicle, the Protector unmanned surface vessel and the SPYDER air defence system. They can also try their hand at some of the simulators, such as learning to fly an F-16 aircraft or shooting targets with naval gunnery. And of course, there is the perennial favourite - the Navy ship visit. This year, Landing Ship Tank (LST) RSS Endurance, one of the Navy's largest ships, will be docked at the VivoCity Promenade. About 25,000 tickets will be available for public balloting, and ship visitors will also have the chance to ride on a Fast Craft Utility launched from the well-dock of the LST. Members of the public can ballot for the LST visit tickets on the Republic of Singapore Navy Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/singaporenavy) from 16 Jan. According to ME7 Tay, SAF50@Vivo will feature many firsts for visitors, including a peek at the rarely-seen naval submarines. Visitors will be able to climb on board a scaled replica of the latest Archer-class submarine's conning tower, and take a look at a life-sized model of the heavy-weight torpedo fired by the submarines. This is the first time that some parts of the Singapore Navy submarine capability will be shown to the public, said ME7 Tay. Our SAF story One of the highlights of SAF50@Vivo is the SAF50 exhibition, an interactive and experiential display that will showcase the real-life stories of the men and women who have contributed to Singapore's defence over the last 50 years. COL Ng expressed his hopes that the stories will touch Singaporeans, both in and out of the uniform: First, we hope that the stories will help (people) understand the SAF better, because these stories provide a perspective of the SAF that has never been presented before. Second, through SAF50, we (wish to) show our appreciation to the pioneers for laying down the foundation of the SAF. We also hope that the current generation of servicemen feel appreciated and motivated to continue contributing towards building a strong SAF. Finally, we hope that Singaporeans, through understanding the SAF better, understand that they themselves contribute to building a strong SAF and will continue to provide their support. Other SAF50 activities include a roving exhibition that will travel to various locations across the island from February to August, as well as a Thank You card movement where the public can write messages to SAF servicemen and women. For more information on SAF50, visit www.SAF50years.sg.
22 Jan 2015, 1735 hours (GMT +8)
With the recent terror attacks in France and Australia, it is more important than ever to stay vigilant even in peace time, said 2nd Minister for Defence Chan Chun Sing during his visit to 807th Battalion, Singapore Infantry Regiment (807 SIR) at Jurong Island on 22 Jan. We must not let our guard down in Singapore, especially for vital installations like this in Jurong Island. Commending the readiness and focus of the men on duty, he added: The NSmen (Operationally Ready National Servicemen) are all very mission oriented in what they do, so they take the mission very seriously. Since the last time I've been here (Jurong Island) to see the soldiers, the commanders and men have constantly made improvements to the way they do things to be more efficient and effective. The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) works closely with the Home Team and other agencies to protect key installations, and Mr Chan emphasised that we will continue to make sure that we maintain our vigilance and our readiness as…security challenges become more complex. Commanding Officer of 807 SIR, Major (MAJ) (NS) Edmund Yeo agreed with Mr Chan, adding: The NSmen get to be deployed and get to play a part in defending the nation. In current circumstances, (operations are) very real, and the men are very committed. While protecting the island is a heavy responsibility, MAJ (NS) Yeo credited strong family support in helping him juggle his NS, work and family commitments. Having good family encouragement and a good mindset provides me with the support to carry out operations successfully. Lance-Corporal (LCP) (NS) Abdul Razak, a security trooper from 807 SIR, shared that he found that his deployment meaningful, saying: I am very honoured and proud to be a part of these security operations. I understand why we are here, and what we are doing this for… I think it is very important for every National Serviceman to know that the security of Singapore is very important and that their contributions (to defence) are important. Also present at today's visit was Chief of Staff - General Staff, Brigadier-General (BG) Lim Hock Yu; Commander, 2nd People's Defence Force, BG Terry Siow; and other commanders.