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 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 8:00am on Mon, 2 May 2016 to 8:00am on Mon, 9 May...
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, 25 Apr 2016 to 08:00am on Mon, 2 May...
Before a visit to Naval Logistics Command (NALCOM) on 29 Apr, Ms Joanna Portilla had no clue what the formation does. This is not surprising, given that much of its work is often behind the scenes.
Hosted by Senior Minister of State for Defence Dr Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman, Ms Portilla and other members of the Advisory Council on Community Relations in Defence (ACCORD) got the opportunity to learn about NALCOM's capabilities.
The Command provides engineering and logistics support to all of the Republic of Singapore Navy's (RSN's) platforms and systems in its naval bases, as well as supporting training, exercises and operational deployments.
During the visit, the ACCORD members saw features such as the Automated Storage Retrieval System (ASRS) at Changi Naval Warehouse.
Through the automated sorting, storage and retrieval of parts and supplies, the system reduces cost and optimises the use of land and manpower. An integrated workforce of personnel from Singapore Technologies-Synthesis (ST-Synthesis) and NALCOM's Force Support Squadron operate the system to deliver vital stores and spares to the rest of the Navy in an effective and timely manner.
The ACCORD members also toured facilities such as the Shiplift Compound, where ST-Marine and NALCOM's Force Generation Squadron carry out depot-level maintenance for the RSN's ships and submarines.
And at the Ordnance Workshop, they learnt about the capabilities of the RSN's 76mm OTO Melara gun and 25mm Typhoon Guns. Personnel from ST-Kinetics and NALCOM's Force Readiness Squadron work together in the testing and maintenance of these guns.
After the tour, Ms Portilla, a member of ACCORD's Family Community council, was visibly impressed by NALCOM's efficiency and capabilities. From this visit, I have been given a better overview of what NALCOM can do. I am also very impressed by the fact that they are able to come up with innovative solutions such as the ASRS to save costs and reduce manpower while ensuring that safety is observed.
Dr Maliki also commended NALCOM's spirit of innovation, which has earned them the Minister for Defence Award consecutively for the past two years in the Ministry of Defence's Productivity and Innovation in Daily Efforts movement.
It is a culture we (should) continue to develop and enhance (so that) their personnel internalises this mindset… I am very confident that NALCOM provides a high state of logistics readiness for the RSN and SAF (Singapore Armed Forces), he said.
Also among the ACCORD members at the visit was Minister of State for Education, Communications and Information, Dr Janil Puthucheary. Speaking about his key takeaway from the visit, the co-chairman of ACCORD's Educational Institutions Council said: (I would share with others how) some of the things I've seen today are really important to national security and defence, such as the ability to maintain the submarines and fleets by ourselves - it's something we do not want to be dependent on others for.
About 3,500 personnel, 18 ships, 25 aircraft and 40 Special Forces teams came together on 2 May for one of the region's largest multinational exercises ever.
The Maritime Security (MS) and Counter-Terrorism (CT) exercise, jointly hosted by the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) under the ambit of the ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting (ADMM)-Plus, will take place in both Brunei and Singapore.
Held from 2 to 12 May, the exercise begins with the MS phase where naval elements of participating countries will train together in Brunei and the South China Sea. This segment is co-organised by Brunei and New Zealand. The CT phase, which is co-conducted by Singapore and Australia, will take place in Singapore.
RBAF Commander Yang Dimuliakan Pehin Datu Pekerma Jaya Major-General (MG) Dato Paduka Seri Mohd Tawih bin Abdullah said at the opening ceremony on 3 May that terrorism is a threat that cannot be underestimated. He noted that the ASEAN region, in particular, has also experienced the spread of influence from radical groups.
The challenges have proven to be more complex and very often, crossed between borders. We are constantly tested and are required to conduct multiple combat and inter-agency operations in countering various emerging threats, he said. The opening ceremony was held at the Muara Naval Base in Brunei.
Pehin MG Tawih added that extensive exercises such as this can help build trust, sustain effective partnership and bonds of communication between countries.
The exercise directors - the SAF's Director Joint Operations Brigadier-General (BG) Desmond Tan and RBAF's Joint Force Commander BG Dato Seri Pahlawan Haji Hamzah bin Haji Sahat were also present at the ceremony.
BG Tan said that that the MS segment was very timely for the region and beyond and was a good way for countries to show their commitment and resolution to ensure that terrorism challenges are tackled.
ASEAN is right in the middle of maritime domain area and the freedom of navigation, straits and lines of communication is important from not just the military, but (also) the trade perspective as well, explained BG Tan.
The MS phase will see scenarios such as counter-piracy and search and rescue being played out while the CT phase will comprise professional exchanges, area orientation and task familiarisation.
Elaborating on the exercise scenario, BG Hamzah said: There is a terrorist group from an unknown country who will be disturbing our seas. We have planned various activities conducted by various nations at sea, such as search and rescue. It will culminate in an assault on an identified target ship and it will be a culmination of maritime security leading into counter-terrorism action.
The Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah will be visiting the exercise with the ASEAN Defence Senior Officials' Meeting (ADSOM)-Plus leaders on 4 May.
The ADMM-Plus exercise involves militaries from the 10 ASEAN countries, and the eight Plus countries Australia, China, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Russia and the United States.
She just can't keep still - I like to be on the move! is the reason Staff Sergeant (SSG) Jess Ong wouldn't trade her trainer role for a job behind the desk.
As a Senior Trainer at the Artillery Institute, she enjoys watching her trainees learn the ropes and graduate as artillery operators and specialists. I feel a sense of achievement seeing them master the skills and graduate.
Of course, I feel sad sometimes when they leave for their respective units, especially after I've gotten to know them better, because I won't be able to work with them anymore.
SSG Ong also loves having students who can inject some fun and enthusiasm into the classroom: It's interesting to meet energetic trainees who like joking around and having fun - if the class was quiet, my trainer life would be very flat too.
And don't expect her to take her off-days lying down. This outdoor sports enthusiast still joins her former schoolmates to sweat it out.
Back in polytechnic, I used to do adventure racing - it's a multi-faceted outdoor sport that requires both brains and brawns. For instance, it might start with a 10km run, followed by rock-climbing, before we're given a Sudoku puzzle to complete!
Now, it's harder to find time for outdoor activities, but we'll still meet up occasionally for activities like rock-climbing or cycling.
Greater cooperation and collaboration between militaries remain key assets to deal with complex transnational challenges in today's increasingly interconnected world.
Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen said this at 5th Moscow Conference on International Security (MCIS) held in Moscow, Russia, from 26 to 28 Apr. The annual conference brings together high-level defence and military leaders from around the world to discuss a range of security issues.
He was speaking at the conference's plenary session on Security Challenges and Opportunities for International Military-to-Military Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific, alongside his counterparts from China, India, Laos and Vietnam.
Elaborating on common threats that the world faces, Dr Ng cited examples such as jihadi extremist groups like Al-Qaeda and ISIS, as well as other transnational challenges like cyber-security, international piracy and human smuggling.
These challenges are too large for any one country to deal with…and will require the combined efforts of countries and appropriate use of their militaries, he noted.
Dr Ng outlined three approaches for countries to step up dialogue and practical cooperation to tackle these challenges.
First, countries could use multilateral platforms such as the East Asia Summit, the ASEAN Regional Forum and the ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus) to facilitate dialogue and cooperation.
He added that the ADMM-Plus, for instance, had made good progress in strengthening practical cooperation among militaries from Asia-Pacific and beyond. Four ADMM-Plus Exercises will be conducted this year, including a large-scale Maritime Security and Counter-Terrorism exercise that will be co-hosted by Singapore, Brunei, Australia and New Zealand next month.
Among the 18 participating countries, Russia will be one of the biggest contributors to the exercise, with one destroyer, two helicopters, two auxiliary ships, two Special Forces teams and other military personnel.
Through these exercises, our different armed forces learn more about each other, build trust and build new capabilities that we need to tackle the threats to our common prosperity, said Dr Ng.
The second approach, he added, was to step up practical cooperation through information sharing. In 2009, Singapore established an Information Fusion Centre for maritime-related information-sharing and coordination.
He noted that these platforms strengthen our regional security architecture while facilitating operational cooperation against common challenges.
Dr Ng also highlighted the need to build effective mechanisms that promote peaceful means of resolving disputes and de-escalating tension. Brunei’s Direct Communication Link initiative among the ADMM countries, for example, can provide a quick and reliable means of communication in the event of crisis, he said.
He also suggested expanding the code for unplanned encounters at sea to include white-shipping (non-military shipping), and for countries to adopt similar protocols for the coast guard, submarines and military aircraft.
While in Moscow, Dr Ng also attended an informal meeting between Southeast Asian and Russian Defence Ministers on 26 Apr. He welcomed a stronger ASEAN-Russia partnership through the ADMM-Plus, and encouraged the establishment of a common set of rules and guidelines among ADMM-Plus militaries to guide behaviour and reduce tensions in the region.
Dr Ng also called on the Minister of Defence of the Russian Federation General (GEN) Sergei Shoigu and met other leaders from ASEAN, including Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence GEN Prawit Wongsuwon, Lao Minister of National Defense Lieutenant-General Chansamone Chanyalath, and Vietnamese Minister of National Defence GEN Ngo Xuan Lich.
A new SAFRA clubhouse - located in Punggol - opens its doors on 24 Apr. Here's a sneak peek of what to expect.
Live in Northeast Singapore? Skip the usual weekend pilgrimage to the mall and head to SAFRA's Punggol clubhouse - the latest in its stable of six clubhouses - when it opens at the end of the month.
Located at 9 Sentul Crescent, a sleepy side-road now, the five-storey SAFRA Punggol clubhouse offers fitness facilities, enrichment centres and Singapore's first indoor water playground.
With Sam Kee LRT station literally next door and Punggol MRT station a six-minute walk away, getting to the clubhouse is easy.
The North Eastern Riverine Loop of the Park Connector Network (PCN) is right at the doorstep of the clubhouse.
Add the fact that an estimated 80,000 Operationally Ready National Servicemen (NSmen) and their families live in the Northeast region, it is clear to see why the area will not stay sleepy for long.
The clubhouse takes advantage of its waterfront location with expansive glass frontages and large open areas on all levels overlooking the waterway.
Inside, the clubhouse hosts a 16,000sqft EnergyOne gym and other leisure offerings such as a 24-lane bowling centre, a yoga studio, and a spa and wellness facility.
Speaking to the media after a tour of the clubhouse on 14 Jan, Senior Minister of State for Defence Ong Ye Kung said: This will be a jewel in SAFRA's range of clubhouses…and it will be completed on time and on budget.
Investing in this (clubhouse) is a form of continual recognition to our NSmen for their contribution towards national defence, said Mr Ong who is also President of SAFRA.
The $64.4-million eco-friendly clubhouse has energy-efficient lighting, naturally ventilated common areas, and a solar-energy system. It was awarded the Green Mark Platinum award by the Building and Construction Authority for its green design.
The result is an estimated $30,000 in savings each month for electricity and utilities bills, said Major (MAJ) (NS) Terence Quek, Chairperson of the SAFRA Punggol development committee.
Other unique features built into the new clubhouse include a bicycle and inline-skate rental kiosk.
After a day of roaming the extensive PCN (the North Eastern Riverine Loop is about 25km long), patrons can return the rental bicycles or inline-skates at any of the kiosks along the loop.
Members will also enjoy direct access to the upcoming Punggol Regional Sports Centre next door which will have swimming and other sports facilities. We designed the clubhouse to be porous and open, a place where NSmen can come to bond with family and friends, explained MAJ (NS) Quek.
When it came to deciding the mix of tenants and facilities, the development committee went back to basics and consulted the very people whom the clubhouse would serve. We held focus group discussions to find out from NSmen what kind of facilities they needed, said MAJ (NS) Quek of the conceptualisation process, which took about three years.
The result is a clubhouse with a mix of old favourites and new offerings. For example, SAFRA members will be familiar with the EnergyOne gym (the largest gym in the Punggol estate) and leisure facilities such as K Box (a family karaoke outlet) and a bowling alley.
Then there are new twists on the familiar such as Splash@Kidz Amaze, a three-storey indoor water playground spanning 23,000sq ft.
Designed with an undersea theme, the playground has eight different play decks, five slides and a splash pad. Children's parties can also be held there with the adjoining function rooms.
Five enrichment centres will provide a variety of educational programmes spanning linguistics to gymnastics.
There will also be a NurtureStars Preschool with capacity for 120 children. Given the increasing number of families moving into the Northeast, the preschool addresses demand for childcare places in Punggol. Priority will be given to SAFRA members.
Hunger pangs strike after all that activity? The clubhouse has got it covered with seven food beverage outlets ranging from fast food to family restaurants such as Jack's Place.
The clubhouse will hold a soft opening on 24 Apr. Members will enjoy complimentary access to selected facilities and special discounts at participating merchants.
Follow SAFRA Punggol's official social media page (facebook.com/SAFRApg) for more details.