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official releases

  • 03 Jul 2015, 1652 hours (GMT +8)

    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, 6 Jul 2015 to 08:00am on Mon, 13 Jul 2015.

Key Topics

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.


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05 Jul 2015, 1140 hours (GMT +8)
A total of 37 contingents consisting of more than 2000 participants will be marching at the National Day Parade (NDP) this year. Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen, who was at the NDP rehearsal on 4 Jul, met some of these Parade and Ceremony (PC) participants, and commended them all on their dedication. He said: There is real pride and real love for the country, that is motivating them… It is very gratifying and very cheering that we can see this kind of spirit amongst NDP participants. These participants will have committed to 16 weekend rehearsals and for some, an additional nine weekday training sessions, chalking up about 200 hours of practice in total. Featuring 16 civilian contingents - the largest to date - along with four Guard-of-Honour contingents, 10 uniformed group contingents, one Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Colours Party, five SAF and Home Team contingents, and one combined band, the variety of participants in this year's parade is unprecedented. As Colonel (COL) Simon Lee, Chairman PC said: Our participants come from all walks of life - we have participants of different races and ethnic backgrounds. As we celebrate SG50, I think that it is important to celebrate the hard work of our pioneers, added COL Lee. This is why we are very excited that two of our artillery pioneers volunteered to participate in this year's Presidential Gun Salute - they will be firing the first few shots of the Presidential Gun Salute. The two artillery pioneers taking part in the Presidential Gun Salute of this year's PC are Senior Warrant Officer (SWO) (Ret) Kuttalingam Nainar, 63, and SWO (Ret) Lim Seng Wah, 65, both former Artillery Formation Sergeant Majors. I know the gun very well, but the challenge is getting to know the rest of the crew operating it, said SWO (Ret) Nainar. Despite the challenge, SWO (Ret) Nainar still finds the experience of participating in NDP 2015 PC a meaningful one, saying: It's an honour to take part … to be firing the gun, it's truly an honour … as a gunner, to represent the artillery. This sense of motivation and dedication is evident in all of the PC participants. As Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Alvin Tjioe, Parade Commander, said: On parade, everyone is focused, listening to commands, and executing their drills and movements according to the commands that I give. The training for this year's NDP has been specially planned to make it as manageable as possible for the participants. LTC Tjioe explained: The training has been progressive - we started quite some time ago in April, and every weekend we have been coming together to train. During the weekly training sessions, we have been progressively getting the participants to stand on parade for longer periods of time … our SAF personnel are all very cognisant of their requirements and of their physical condition. We slowly build them up over the weeks such that...they are able to participate fully in the parade.
03 Jul 2015, 2015 hours (GMT +8)
There's a new ship on the horizon. And its name is Independence. The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) commemorated the launch of its newest ship, the first Littoral Mission Vessel (LMV), Independence. Held at the Singapore Technologies Marine (ST Marine) yard on 3 Jul, the launching ceremony was officiated by Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen. The LMV was launched by Mrs Ivy Ng, wife of Dr Ng. Addressing the guests at the ceremony, Dr Ng reiterated the RSN’s role in protecting Singapore's sea lines of communication, which are vital for the nation's economic well-being. He said: It was dominantly due to the fact that the people of the RSN believed fervently in this mission - they believed that they could protect the waters around us - that we have continually moved 'onwards and upwards, never looking back', and that today, we are able to stand here together, amid peace and security of our surrounding seas. Uniquely Singaporean In his speech, Dr Ng also highlighted that the LMV was uniquely Singaporean, having been planned, conceptualised and built locally to meet our requirements. The launch of Independence marked the first time a Navy ship was completely designed and built in Singapore. A total of eight LMVs, including Independence, would be built by ST Marine locally, based on a design jointly developed by ST Marine and Saab Kockums AB. The RSN worked closely with the Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) for about three years to determine its engineering, logistical and operational requirements, before contracting ST Engineering Ltd in January 2013for the LMV construction. Smarter, faster and sharper The LMVs are smarter and faster ships, equipped with sharper capabilities. They can be configured with mission modules to suit a wide spectrum of operations. Lethal and non-lethal options also allow them to deliver calibrated responses and defend against different types of threats. With Singapore's decreasing population, manpower considerations were a priority. Thus, the LMVs were designed to maximise the potential of a leaner crew. Explained Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Chew Chun-Chau, Head of the LMV Project Office: Using technology to replace mundane, low-end tasks allows the crew to (concentrate on) the high-end tasks. This will not only tap on the knowledge of the better-educated crew, but also enable us to operate with a much smaller crew size. One of the key design features of the LMV is the Integrated Command Centre (ICC). Where previously the Bridge, Combat Information Centre (CIC) and Machinery Control Room (MCR) were located in different parts of a ship, the three would now be co-located in the ICC. This will integrate and synergise the management of navigation, engineering and combat functions. On top of this, the 360-degree bridge with windows on all sides will provide an unobstructed view of the sea lanes. Another key feature is in designing the support, where maintainability of the ship's equipment is a primary consideration. Previously, the ship's design centred on supporting the design, with emphasis being placed on the ship's capabilities. This meant that the priority was to acquire the best parts and equipment for the ship, while considerations for support and maintenance came after. Crews would have to learn to adapt to the limitations of the equipment. This time around, the RSN and DSTA worked together with subject matter experts from our maintenance bases to look at the capabilities of the systems and also the long-term supportability - how the systems could be designed in a more reliable manner, with more robust redundancies and to be more maintainable, so that it's more effectively and efficiently supported in the long run, explained Military Expert 5 (ME5) Tang Chee Meng, Principal Engineer in the LMV Project Office. We are moving into a new era where we make designs that are user-centric instead of the traditional technology-centred approach, said Mr Matthew Yong, Programme Director of Naval Systems in DSTA. We filter what we term 'latent requirements' - not (just) what they ask for, but what they need, and bring it out so that we design to meet their requirements. With the maintenance and support processed streamlined, real cost and man hours are also reduced, and turnaround time between missions is also shortened. This will enhance the operational readiness of the ship. It's a mindset shift to place support in its proper standing, said ME5 Tang. Passing on the baton At approximately two-and-a-half times the size of the Fearless-class Patrol Vessels (PVs), the LMVs are set to replace their predecessors in watching over Singapore's waters. LTC Tay Choong Hern, who will be the first Commanding Officer (CO) of Independence, looked forward to working in the new ICC. He was CO of PV RSS Fearless from 2012 to 2014. These (the Bridge, MCR and CIC of the PV) are located separately; and not seeing one another, we rely on communications to make decisions and get situational awareness. With this Integrated Command Centre, we are able to have everybody co-located, using the same Command and Control System and have the awareness that we previously couldn't have. He added: The 360-degree bridge allows us to look out further. For the type of operations and the area we are in, it has very much improved the amount of time taken to make a decision, the awareness that we can have out of the window…so that we can deliver sharper responses. LTC (Ret) Lim Hock Chye, who was the first CO of PV RSS Independence, was impressed by the automation level of the new LMVs: This is the way to go. Automation not only allows you to run the ship efficiently, it is also more effective in terms of speed. He added: I must say that the people operating this ship are far more capable, because this new generation is educated, fast, and very sharp. I believe that the LMV will outperform most of the ships from the previous generation. Independence is expected to be fully operational by 2017, and all eight LMVs, fully operational by 2020.
03 Jul 2015, 0930 hours (GMT +8)
They came from all walks of life to join the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) during its formative years. These SAF pioneers share their stories. Most would know the tale of how Singapore's defence in 1965 started with two infantry battalions of 50 officers and about 1,000 men for the Army, and two ships for the Navy. There was no air force. From there, the Ministry of the Interior and Defence (pre-cursor to the present-day Ministry of Defence) started to build up the SAF. In 1967, National Service was started. The Army had the 1st and 2nd Battalions, Singapore Infantry Regiment (1 SIR and 2 SIR). These were bolstered by the Singapore Volunteer Corps and Vigilante Corps to protect sites of strategic importance. The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN), with its roots in the Singapore Naval Volunteer Force (SNVF), started off with three ships. Of the three, only two were seaworthy. In 1968, the Singapore Air Defence Command (SADC) was formed. It used Cessna 172 aircraft to train its pilots for Singapore's first fighter aircraft - the Hawker Hunters - which were added to the fleet in 1970. Five years later, the SADC became the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF). These hodge-podge beginnings carried a generation of men and women who came together and built the defence of Singapore. Here are their personal stories as they recount the early years.
02 Jul 2015, 0700 hours (GMT +8)
As theSAF celebrates its 50th year of defending the nation,Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant-General (LG) Ng Chee Meng reflects on what the milestone means to him.
01 Jul 2015, 2315 hours (GMT +8)
The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) commemorated its 50th year of defending the nation with a special parade officiated by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on SAF Day, 1 Jul. Five F-15SG fighter planes performed a flypast to pay tribute to all regulars and national servicemen - past and present. Also featured was a heli-flypast of the national flag. More than 3000 SAF Regulars, Operationally-ready National Servicemen (NSmen), and Full-time National Servicemen attended the parade at SAFTI Military Institute. Led by Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant-General (LG) Ng Chee Meng, they recited the SAF Pledge to reaffirm their loyalty and commitment to the nation. They also observed a one-minute silence to remember those who died in the line of duty. The parade featured a special ceremony known as Trooping of the Colours, where a contingent carried (or 'trooped') theColours (flags) across the parade square, marching to the beat of music performed by the military band. Parade Commander Lieutenant Colonel Mohd Nizam Bin Yahya said the procession was to honour the Colours on the special occasion of the SAF's Golden Jubilee. This parade is different from other SAF Day parades, he said. Honouring pioneers The parade also recognised the contributions of SAF pioneers, and a video montage paid tribute to the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore's founding prime minister, who played an instrumental role in building up the SAF. Some 500 SAF pioneers were guests at the parade. Among them was Major (MAJ) (Ret) Leong Kwai Wah, 74, who was part of the first batch of SAF officer cadets in 1966. He was involved in taking over Tengah Air Base from the British when they started withdrawing their troops from Singapore in the late 1960s. He and fellow pioneers had to deal with the threat of Konfrontasi during the early years of independence. We were put on the frontline to look after the country, recalled the former Air Operations and Communications Officer. MAJ (Ret) Leong, who retired in 1988, added that he was confident that the generation today will continue defending Singapore. Best units, NSmen recognised The parade also recognised the best units of the SAF. Mr Lee presented the State Colours to this year's Best Combat Unit, 1st Commando Battalion (1 Cdo Bn), which had won the award for the 12th consecutive time. Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen presented the Best Unit and Best National Service Unit awards to 28 SAF units. Sixteen NSmen received the NSman of the Year award from Dr Ng at a reception held after the parade. One of them was Captain (CPT) (NS) Chen Fuwei, 33, a naval diver from the Naval Diving Unit. As the Officer Commanding of the underwater demolition group, he leads a team of about 100 divers. The father of two, aged 3 and 1, has to juggle his work as an assistant director in the Civil Service, family commitments, and NS duties. But strong support from his family and employer allowed him to do his best inhis military work, he said. His family commitments are about to increase. His wife is expecting their third child. Despite this, he has extended his NS cycle. I gained a lot from National Service - very close friends,... fond memories, and useful life skills and values, he said. I see volunteering as a way of giving back... As long as I am fit and capable, I will continue to serve.
01 Jul 2015, 1600 hours (GMT +8)
With our lives! echoed through SAFRA Toa Payoh as 110 Operationally-ready National Servicemen (NSmen) ended their reciting of the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Pledge at the East Zone SAF Day 2015 Combined Rededication Ceremony (CRC) on 1 Jul. Officiated by Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen, the East Zone SAF Day CRC was the first of four CRCs held across the four geological zones in Singapore, the other three being North/North-East, Central Business District (CBD)/South, East, and West. SAF Day CRCs have been organised since 1988, and are undertaken by civilian organisations on a voluntary basis. These organisations invite their business partners and companies that are located in that particular zone to participate in the CRC. Delivering his SAF Day message at the East Zone CRC, Dr Ng emphasised the need for a strong and credible defence, saying: Without a strong defence, Singapore could not have had the opportunity to progress from the Third World to the First. Why were our founding generation and our pioneers so convinced (of the need for a strong SAF)? It was because they had experienced being subjects under British rule, then being prisoners under the Japanese Occupation. After that, they saw saboteurs during the communist threat and Konfrontasi bringing violence and destruction to Singapore. They saw it with their own eyes…They learnt very bitter lessons … that when you're not in charge of your own destiny, others can reap what you sow, others can destroy what you built. One of the NSmen taking part in the ceremony was Captain (CPT) (NS) Low Kok Ping Leonard, General Manager of Feoso Energy Pte Ltd, and Company Second-in-Charge of Maintenance Company, 3rd Forward Combat Service Support Battalion. He agreed with what Dr Ng said. I think National Service is very important, said CPT (NS) Low. I've been privileged to travel to many places and have lived in other countries, so I think that what we have here in Singapore is very precious and is worth defending. CPT (NS) Low also found the CRC to be a meaningful one, saying: It is a very good way of recommitting oneself to the SAF and to the country… a good reminder that we are serving something bigger than ourselves - we are serving our country and our fellow Singaporeans. In total, more than 650 NSmen from 354 companies and their employers gathered to reaffirm their commitment to defence on SAF Day. Minister for Transport and Second Minister for Defence Lui Yuck Yew officiated at the West Zone CRC at the SIT@Dover. Minister, Prime Minister's Office Chan Chun Sing officiated at the CBD/South Zone and Built Environment Partners CRC; and Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin officiated at the North/North-East Zone SAF Day CRC at the Institute for Technical Education College Central.


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