The SAF Adjusts Outdoor Activities According to Haze Situation
We refer to the letter Protecting SAF recruits from haze by Ms June Hoo which was published on 24 October 2015. Since then, we have spoken to Ms Hoo to understand and address...
The 2nd Submarine Operational Safety Conference (SMOSC) enables senior representatives of submarine operating countries and International Organisations to discuss matters pertaining to submarine operational safety.
The changing of Istana Guards Ceremony by the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Military Police Command at the Istana main gate will be held on Sunday, 8 May 2016 at 6:00PM. The new Guards will march along Orchard Road towards the Istana to take over from the old Guards.
The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) will conduct military exercises in Seletar, Marsiling, Jalan Bahar, Neo Tiew, Lim Chu Kang, Jalan Kwok Min, Tuas, Upper Jurong, Hong Kah, Ama Keng, Bedok Jetty, Kranji, Lentor, Simpang, Sembawang, Mandai from 08:00am on Mon, 9 May 2016 to 08:00am on Mon, 16 May...
If there's one thing that gets Ms Gladys Ng excited, it's fishballs. Ask her about it, and she waxes lyrical: Everyone who knows me knows that I love to eat fishballs. No meatballs, no sotong balls. I prefer white steamed ones. But not the kind with chilli inside. Just plain fishballs.
Under the kooky demeanor is a compassionate soul who takes the time to reach out to those in need. I enjoy volunteering. I used to volunteer at Touch Community Services and participated in National Day Parades with them.
Recently, I joined the Navy Information Centre to volunteer with Willing Hearts, and right now, I’m looking to volunteer (to help) the elderly, especially those who live alone and have no family.
Ms Ng's sense of service extends to her work at the Navy Recruitment Centre. We introduce applicants to the career paths that the Navy offers. We also help with job-matching and advise them on the career options that best suit them.
She added: It definitely gives me a sense of satisfaction helping people (find the right career fit). I'm happy when I run into those I recruited in Changi Naval Base and they remember me!
So if you see Ms Ng around your naval base, remember to give her a smile and some steaming fishballs!
The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Central Band embraced its latest assignment with fervour on 26 May as a cultural ambassador of Singapore to Russia. At the opening of the 5th Amur Waves International Military Bands Festival, they thrilled the locals in Khabarovsk, a city in the far east of Russia, with their music.
The annual festival, which started in 2012, aims to promote cultural exchanges and international cooperation in the Pacific region. This was the SAF Central Band's maiden appearance at the festival.
The crowd favourite was The Lion City: A Journey Home, an original composition about the nation-building story of Singapore.
Composed by Military Expert (ME) 1 Dax Wilson, the composition contained elements of folk tunes from three ethnic groups of Singapore: Chinese, Malay and Indian.
The 2,000-strong audience caught a glimpse of Singapore's past and present from a montage that was screened during the performance. At the end of the show, the audience gave the Singaporean musicians over a minute of applause.
Not a lot of people here have travelled to Singapore before, so with our performance, we hope to bring Singapore closer to them, and in turn build a greater friendship, said Director of Music, ME5 Steven Tan, who led the SAF Central Band for this overseas performance.
The original song, specially composed for the Russian audience, also included elements of a popular Russian folk tune Oy, to ne vecher, and Russian lyrics.
It is important for us to perform something that is dear to their hearts... We learnt and memorised the lyrics, andpresented it to the audience! I think it really brings us closer to them, ME5 Tan explained.
Ms Angelina Andrievskaya was among the Russian audience who were thoroughly impressed by the SAF Central Band's performance.
They were excellent. All the musicians combined well; and their music was able to connect with the people, said the 19-year-old economics and law undergraduate.
The SAF Central Band also performed popular pop songs, classical pieces by Russian composers, as well as Xinyao, a genre of Singapore folk songs.
Fifteen military bands from Kazakstan, Mongolia, Russia and Singapore are participating in the festival which will last till 31 May. They are joined by an all-female band from China, and seven amateur bands from Russia. In all, about 600 performers are involved.
Over the next four days, the SAF central band will perform in five tattoo displays, one concert, and a street parade.
The street parade spans a distance of 1.6km along Muravlieu-Amursky Street. The SAF Central Band will be marching to the beats of their signature marching tunes: The Bandstand, Tentera Singapura, and Singapore Infantry Regiment (SIR) March.
For the tattoo display, which is a performance of military music and movements, eight personnel from the Military Police (MP) Command's Silent Precision Drill Squad (SPDS) will perform synchronised rifle drills to the beat of the music from the SAF Central Band.
The SPDS will be performing a new drill called Flipper Exchange. Each personnel flips his rifle to the person on his right, and at the same time receives a new rifle from his left.
The drill was created specially for the festival by Corporal First Class (CFC) Faizal Bin Razali, a Full-time National Serviceman.
We want to up our game, and do something different for our Russian friends, said the 21-year-old.
The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) welcomed a new addition to its fleet as Littoral Mission Vessel (LMV) Independence finished its sea trials and cruised to its new home at Tuas Naval Base on 26 May.
LMV Independence is one of the eight LMVs that will replace the current Fearless-class Patrol Vessels (PVs). The new ships will be more efficient than their predecessors in areas such as speed and versatility.
Speaking at the event, Chief of Navy Rear-Admiral (RADM) Lai Chung Han said: It is an important milestone for the (LMV) programme. The homecoming of LMV Independence marks the conclusion of almost 2 years of the construction phase. It also marks the beginning of about 11 to 12 months of ICIT (Installation, Checkout, Integration and Testing). I think this is something we can be very proud of and something that we want to thank all involved for bringing the project to this point.
Touching on the commissioning of LMV Independence next year, RADM Lai said: This will be a significant moment to mark the Navy's coming of age at 50 years, as we complete our 3rd Generation transformation, as we move into our redesign for LMV Indy to be the lead platform, to be, if I can borrow the phrase, the 'flagship of our future Navy'.
The event also marked the renaming of 182 Squadron (SQN) and 189 SQN, which are formed by the current eleven PVs -- to 182 SQN. The new logo for 182 SQN was also unveiled. The eight LMVs will be fully operational by 2020 and they will then complete 182 SQN.
Now, as we're in the advanced stages of our 3rd Generation transformation, the return of LMV Independence to 182 SQN marks a major milestone for the squadron and its new logo (which says) Sharp and Vigilant, which rightly encapsulates what the squadron will do: Remain sharp and vigilant 24/7, safeguarding our water and protecting our nation.
He had never won any awards in school, until now. For Specialist Cadet (SCT) Vester Ng, who has dyslexia, receiving one of the Golden Bayonet awards was an unforgettable first.
Despite his condition, SCT Ng didn't drag his feet enlisting for National Service. I took this as another learning opportunity and told myself to make the best of it, said SCT Ng, who is trained as a weapon systems specialist. He will join the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) frigate RSS Tenacious.
His instructors also helped him out by giving him more attention when it came to theory lessons. They didn't penalise me too much for spelling errors and my batch mates always helped me out when it came to writing, said SCT Ng.
Recalling the times that he stayed up with his course mates to revise materials for upcoming tests, he said: I will always remember the bonds and friendships that we formed here.
Of the 1,206 graduands at the Specialist Cadet Graduation Parade held at Pasir Laba Camp on 26 May, 1,091 were from the Army, 68 from the RSN and 47 from the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF). Speaking to the new specialists, Chief of Defence Force Major-General (MG) Perry Lim said: As leaders, you will need to give your soldiers confidence in what they do.
You must be prepared to do what you expect your men and women to do, and achieve the standards that you have set for them.
During his address, MG Lim emphasised the role that Specialists play in securing Singapore's continued success. It is important to have strong leadership across all ranks in the SAF. Not just at the highest echelon, but among the junior ranks, and this includes each and every one of you.
His words were not lost on SCT Muhammad Ihsan Ruzani bin Mohammad Swandi. During the course, I learnt that a good leader also has to know when to be a good follower.
That he learnt from his Platoon Commander, 2nd Warrant Officer Glen Tan. He's not infantry-trained but seeing him lead us, listen to us and, at times, learn from us, was very inspiring.
He would tell us that you learn and grow faster by listening to your peers, rather than to lead from the top (and only expect others to follow commands).
When asked which part of the course he would remember, SCT Ihsan recalled a three-day navigation exercise that his cohort went through in Thailand. It was about 40-degree weather and there were many times we just wanted to quit.
But we pushed each other and made it through. I learnt a lot of things in that time; the importance of teamwork and support of your peers that is necessary to lead an infantry section.
As one of the top performers in the course, SCT Ihsan received a Golden Bayonet award. I think what set me apart was my spirit to learn. I was constantly hungry to learn more about how to lead an infantry section.
For SCT Marcus Goh, from the RSAF, serving NS brought him closer to his parents who are both former SAF Regulars. I was their constant update on what was going on in the SAF, said SCT Goh.
They would always ask me questions on the equipment I was using or what kind of training I was undergoing. His father was a Specialist in the Signals Formation and his mother was a Supply Specialist in the Army.
Like SCT Ng and SCT Ihsan, SCT Goh is a Golden Bayonet award recipient. I will forever remember the times we spent at SCS, training together and doing almost everything together.
He will head to the 18th Divisional Air Defence Artillery Battalion to lead a section in operating the Mechanised IGLA Ground Based Air Defence system.
Against the rising threat of terrorism, the ASEAN countries agreed on the 10th ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting (ADMM) Joint Declaration on 25 May, which affirmed the group's commitment to tackle this international security threat together; and across nations.
The declaration was signed by Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen and the defence ministers from ASEAN member countries who had gathered in Vientiane, Laos, for the annual ADMM. Besides discussing terrorism and violent extremism, the defence ministers also applauded the good development in practical cooperation under the ADMM and ADMM-Plus groupings.
Speaking after the meeting, Dr Ng said the defence ministers recognised that terrorism can potentially disrupt the region if we allow either the ideology of terror groups like the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), or if the networks are formed and training camps are embedded within our region. Said Dr Ng: ASEAN could do more in terms of information sharing, intelligence, and resources, as well as conducting joint operations where we can.
Dr Ng added in a Facebook post later in the day: If the ideology of terrorist groups like ISIS is allowed to take root among our people or worse still, if training camps proliferate in any one of the ASEAN countries, then the whole region will be thrown into turmoil for decades. Our economies, our peaceful way of life will be seriously threatened.
Besides terrorism, the countries also signalled their intent to abide by international protocols like the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES), which will help in peacefully resolving matters and building mutual trust among ASEAN countries at sea. In addition, Dr Ng noted that the countries reiterated the importance of maintaining peace, stability and security as well as upholding freedom of navigation in, and over-flight above, the South China Sea as provided for by universally recognised principles of international law.
Established in 2006, the ADMM is a critical platform in the regional security architecture which allows open and constructive dialogue, and practical cooperation among ASEAN armed forces. Among other initiatives, it is establishing a direct communications link among the countries for rapid response in times of emergencies, and strengthened areas like humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR).
Dr Ng said: There was some satisfaction (from the 10th ADMM) that it had become an influential meeting and platform, and that there was good progress in dealing with the security challenges, considering we are only 10 years old… Not only had we consolidated as an ASEAN grouping, but also extended to our Plus partners -- the eight partners… we had also gone beyond just having dialogues, we had been involved in multilateral exercises on a large scale.
As an active member of the ADMM which supports its measures to enhance the regional security architecture, Singapore co-organised the inaugural ASEAN Militaries' HADR Exercise with Indonesia in July 2011, and the second one in June 2013. Singapore also participated strongly in the ADMM-Plus HADR / Military Medicine Exercise in June 2013, and the ADMM-Plus Maritime Security and Counter-Terrorism Exercise in May this year.
While in Vientiane, Dr Ng and the other ASEAN defence ministers met the Chinese Minister of National Defence General Chang Wanquan. On the informal meeting, Dr Ng noted: A stable ASEAN-China relationship is vital for stability in this region as we face security challenges that threaten our collective well-being.
On diffusing tensions in the South China Sea, Dr Ng touched on the importance of coming up with protocols and norms to deescalate tensions and lower the risks of miscalculation within the region, such as through the extension of CUES to non-military vessels, coming up with a code of conduct for submarine safety, and a protocol for unplanned air encounters between military aircraft.
The ASEAN defence ministers also jointly called on Laos Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith and commemorated the 10th anniversary of the ADMM grouping with a tree-planting ceremony and the opening of the ADMM Photo Gallery which showcases the highlights of ADMM in the past 10 years.
On the sidelines of the ADMM meeting, Dr Ng also had bilateral meetings with Malaysian Minister for Defence Dato' Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein and Philippine Secretary of National Defence Voltaire Gazmin.