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 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, 15 Feb 2016 to 08:00am on Mon, 22 Feb 2016.
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, 1 Feb 2016 to 08:00am on Mon, 8 Feb 2016.
For the first time ever, visitors to the upcoming Singapore Airshow 2016 can look forward to catching an exciting synchronised aerobatic display by an F-15SG fighter jet and AH-64D Apache attack helicopter.
This will be the Republic of Singapore Air Force's (RSAF's) first integrated flying display involving the two vastly different aircraft.
The team will perform 11 aerial manoeuvres - three integrated and eight solo.
One of the highlights of the 12-minute flying display is the Vertical Punch, a new integrated manoeuvre that has never been done before.
The AH-64D pulls up into the skies and flips around before meeting the F-15SG flying in from the opposite direction.The fighter jet then punches through the clouds in a spectacular vertical climb.
The integrated manoeuvres were choreographed to demonstrate the combat capabilities of the two aircraft.
Our aim is to showcase the power and gracefulness of the manoeuvres to wow the crowd, said Colonel (COL) Linus Tan, Chairman of the RSAF Flying Display Committee.
He added that the display showcases the RSAF as an integrated force, noting that up to 80 percent of the manoeuvres were combat moves that the aircraft use in real operations.
Developing seamless coordination
There are unique challenges for a helicopter to perform at close proximity with the bigger and faster fighter jet.
The flight crew have to communicate closely with each other, and make snap judgements so that the aircraft meet precisely at the right place at the right time.
The AH64-D also has to avoid being caught in the F-15SG's powerful jet wake - air turbulence that forms behind the aircraft as it moves through the air.
Said Major (MAJ) Max Ng, F-15SG pilot: The flights are demanding… We are performing at (the) operational boundaries of the aircraft.
The flight crew includes an F-15SG pilot and weapon systems officer (fighter), and an AH-64D pilot and co-pilot. Two separate sets of flight crews take turns to perform at the air show.
The team also comprises the ground crew who maintain the aircraft, and the commentators who entertain spectators with their narration.
They have been training for the Airshow for two to three times a week, on top of their operational training and duties, since last December.
Each training flight may only last about 12 minutes, but the flight crew can spend up to eight hours forpre-flight planning and post-flight reviews.
The long discussion is necessary to allow the flight crew to better understand each other's capabilities and develop their chemistry, said AH-64D pilot MAJ Spencer Ler.
The integrated performances may seem simple, but require a lot of backend coordination and in-flight planning, he explained.
Assets on display
The Singapore Air Show 2016 is Asia's largest aviation show, and will be heldfrom16 to 21 Febat the Changi Exhibition Centre.
Visitors can check out 11 of the RSAF's assets at the static display area to learn more about the Air Force's wide-ranging capabilities.
One of them is the Black Knight F-16C aircraft in its familiar red-and-white national colours.
Other assets include the F-15SG fighter jet, CH-47 Chinook helicopter, Heron 1 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, Gulfstream 550 Airborne Early Warning aircraft and the Surface-to-Air PYthon-5 and DERby (SPYDER) Ground-Based Air Defence system.
RSAF Aerobatic Flying Display
20 Feb(Sat)10:30am – 11:10am
21 Feb(Sun)2:20pm – 3:00pm
Timings are subject to changes. Visitwww.singaporeairshow.comfor updates.
This year's Total Defence campaign, themed Together We Keep Singapore Strong, aims to bolster Singaporeans' resilience. PIONEER speaks to four groups of Singaporeans who keep the nation strong in their own ways.
The newly-appointed members of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Defence and Foreign Affairs (GPC-DFA) and its Resource Panel marked the start of their term with a visit to the Multi-Mission Range Complex (MMRC).
Hosted by Senior Minister of State for Defence, Dr Mohamad Maliki bin Osman, and Commander 9th Singapore Division and Chief Infantry Officer, Colonel (COL) Ng Ying Thong, this was also the GPC-DFA's very first visit to a Singapore Armed Force (SAF) training facility with the new members appointed in November 2015.
Leading the new GPC-DFA and Resource Panel members was Mr Vikram Nair, Chairman for GPA-DFA and Member of Parliament for Sembawang Group Representation Constituency (GRC).
On his hopes for the new committee, Mr Nair said, This committee has many experienced members from the previous committee. My hope is to continue to keep an eye on the defence policies and initiatives and to see that we are headed in the right direction. The SAF still needs to remain a strong and respected force in the region while at the same time dealing with our challenges, which include shortages of manpower and land constraints.
As part of the visit, members were introduced to the history and capabilities of the MMRC, which houses seven ranges within three stories. They also viewed the Multi-Tiered Range and walked through one of the training chambers at the Urban Operations Range. The chambers are soundproof rooms built to simulate the tight spaces found in an urban environment, and members were provided an understanding of how servicemen train for urban warfare.
Later, the GPC-DFA members visited the MMRC Range Ops Wing, where they had the opportunity to fire the Singapore Assault Rifle 21 (SAR-21) at the 50-metre Video Targetry System (VTS) Range. At the VTS Range, combat scenarios are projected on the screen and the shots fired are recorded on actual target boards located behind the screen.
After viewing the different types of training available at the MMRC, Mr Nair noted that the SAF had made vast improvements in training efficiency: Back when I was doing National Service, this (the MMRC) wasn't around, and going to the range meant taking a whole day and a half out, spending time waiting to shoot and so on. But with this, the shooting takes place much more quickly (and) there are many more scenarios that can be played out.
And in the space of what used to be only one range, we now have seven ranges. This is a wonderful way to work with land constraints but at the same time come up with something that is much better and provides more realistic training as well.
Mr Nair added that it was important to provide a wide range of scenarios in training: The reality is that if we are in a combat situation, it's not going to be clean-cut (or) predictable. So we've got to deal with different scenarios.
GPC-DFA Deputy Chairman and Member of Parliament for Sembawang GRC Amrin Amin agreed: The best part about it was that it was realistic. It registers the point that nowadays, the battle is not just in the jungles - the battle is everywhere around us. It’s important for us to be ready and have that mindset.
Having scenarios that included both civilians and assailants also added realism to the training: It (Training) should, as far as possible, mirror what's happening in real life and prepare our servicemen to train under safe conditions where they can improve their competency and at the same time not harm other people in the course of training, said Mr Amrin.
The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) welcomed Brigadier General (BG) Ong Tze-Ch'in as its new Director Military Intelligence (DMI)/Chief Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (C4I) at a Change of Command Parade held in Pasir Laba Camp on 1 Feb.
Witnessed by the Chief of Defence Force Major-General (MG) Perry Lim, the parade saw BG Ong receiving the Chief C4I Symbol of Command from outgoing DMI/Chief C4I BG Mervyn Tan Wei Ming.
BG Tan was appointed as DMI/Chief C4I in February 2014. Prior to this appointment, he held several key appointments such as Commanding Officer, 121 Squadron; Head Air Plans, Headquarters Republic of Singapore Air Force; and Commander, Air Defence and Operations Command.
During his tenure as DMI/Chief C4I, BG Tan played a pivotal role in the deployment of Imagery Analysis Teams to the Combined Joint Task Force Headquarters, as part of the SAF's effort to support the multinational coalition against the extremist threat posed by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS for short.
In his farewell speech, BG Tan noted that the SAF C4I Community was still in its early stages and that it was important for the community to adapt quickly to the new normal of evolving threats and technology. He also highlighted that the community must not be afraid to venture into new territories to build the SAF of the future. He thanked the community for their steadfast, tireless and quiet conviction to the mission of the SAF, 24/7 every day, 365 days a year.
In closing, BG Tan described his successor, BG Ong, as a person who is down-to-earth and who has the right heart for the man and women under his charge. BG Ong joined the SAF in 1994 and has held significant appointments in his career, such as Military Assistant to Commander, United Nations Mission of Support in East Timor; Commanding Officer, 30th Battalion Singapore Combat Engineers; Head, Force Transformation Office in the Joint Plans Transformation Department; Commander, Army Combat Engineer Group; Assistant Chief of General Staff (Plans); and Commander, 3rd Singapore Division.
The Change of Command Parade was attended by senior MINDEF officials and SAF officers, as well as the Military Attache Corps. The SAF C4I Community thanked BG Tan for his strong leadership and welcomed BG Ong to the community.
A bomb has just exploded in a train station, leaving many wounded and dead. The perpetrators are nowhere to be seen. What should the Government's immediate response be?
Hunt down the suspects? Attend to the wounded? Conduct a bomb sweep? Lock down the vicinity? Issue a news release to prevent widespread panic?
This is a hypothetical scenario, but these are real decisions that Government agencies have to make in a crisis.
To help senior officers from the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and various Government agencies come up with swift and effective inter-agency responses to large-scale crises, the SAF Centre for Leadership Development (CLD), supported by the National Security Coordinating Secretariat and Home Team Behavioural Sciences Centre, organised the inaugural Crisis Leadership Programme.
The Programme consisted of a three-day course conducted at SAFTI MI from 26 to 28 Jan and a half day Mass Seminar at the Home Team Academy on 29 Jan. The Programme was facilitated by faculty from the Harvard University's National Preparedness Leadership Initiative (NPLI).
40 senior officers from the SAF, Home Team agencies and nine ministries and statutory boards attended the intensive three-day Executive Course while 260 operational and staff officers from the SAF, Home Team, ministries, statutory boards and academics from local universities attended the half-day Seminar.
Participants of the three-day Course learnt, among other things, a highly practical Meta-Leadership framework that helps in their influence and decision making, leading their teams, leading across teams and leading upwards.
The framework was developed by NPLI using research data gleaned from interviews with government leaders who had dealt with large-scale crises.
One of the NPLI faculty, Mr. Richard Serino, former Deputy Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in the United States, led the emergency response for over 60 major emergencies, including Hurricane Sandy in 2012, and the Boston Marathon Bombing in 2013. He shared his personal experiences with the captivated audience on how to mobilise not only the emergency services, but also the civilians to work in unison during a crisis.
During the three-day course, the participants got hands-on practice, through a table-top exercise, orchestrating inter-agency responses to various crisis scenarios such as terrorist attacks, cyber attacks and pandemics.
One of the Course participants from the SAF was Colonel (COL) Lee Kien Tian, Director of the National Maritime Operations Group.
The 44-year-old Navy officer is responsible for leading five agencies - the Navy, Police Coast Guards, Immigration and Checkpoint Authority, Singapore Customs, Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore - in operations to keep Singapore waters safe.
He said the course and exercise had enabled him to do better planning, taking into consideration the working norms, and conflicting demands of the various agencies.
He explained: In the event of a terrorist attack, how do you strike a balance between tightening security measures and preventing unnecessary disruption to normalcy?
These are potentially conflicting demands. By knowing the considerations of each agency, we are able to put together a better Whole-of-Government response.
COL Daniel Seet, Director of Crisis Preparedness in the Ministry of Home Affairs' Joint Operations Group agreed, saying: We learnt to ask the right questions and this, in turn, helps to shape the appropriate response that covers most, if not all, angles.
He added that learning alongside counterparts from various agencies had enabled him to better understand their operations, and build stronger relationships.
Influence and Leadership
This was, in fact, a key point highlighted by another NPLI faculty, Mr. Eric McNulty, Director of Research and Professional Programs at NPLI, who said it was important to build relationships during peace time.
During a crisis, time is against you. You need influence and leadership to get things moving, he said.
One participant at the half-day Crisis Leadership Seminar was Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Wong Foo Chan, from the Naval Diving Unit, who works closely with the Police in underwater security screening for large-scale events such as the National Day Parade.
For him, the seminar was a reminder of the importance of good leadership. In times of crisis, leadership - not management - takes centre stage. The demand for leadership is ramped up when we need to work with people from various places, he said.
The Course and Seminar were organised to enable different government agencies to develop a common language, said COL Fred Tan, Head of CLD, who noted that a Whole-of-Government approach was needed to tackle increasingly complex security challenges of the new operating environment.
Noting that feedback from the participants had been positive, COL Tan said the SAF would look into conducting more crisis leadership courses.
There have been more crises and disasters in the region recently. I believe there is a demand for leadership skills in managing crises from a Whole-of-Government approach, he said.