The operationalisation of hotlines to respond to maritime emergencies, the launch of a Direct Communications Infrastructure among ASEAN establishments, and an agreement to expand the Code for Unplanned Encounters to all ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting (ADMM)-Plus countries this November.
Pre-enlistees who are talented or have a keen interest in the cyber arena can now sign up at www.mindef.gov.sg/CyberNSF to join cyber vocations during National Service (NS), starting from the end of February.
The ASEAN defence ministers have developed a "Three R" framework to deal with transnational terrorism in the region. Using the framework of "Resilience, Response and Recovery", the ministers seek to develop resilient citizens who will stand up against radicalisation and misinformation, establish coordinated efforts to collect intelligence and respond to threats, and facilitate recovery in the event of an attack.
Dr Zakir Hussain, 48, is not shy to admit his initial reason for moving to Singapore in 2006. The then-surgeon was seeking a better salary when he came here with his wife, Dr Sabita, and daughter Nilopher Bahn, then six years old.
Singaporeans are definitely more health conscious these days. Just look at the number of salad or health bars sprouting up around the central business district. Even at economic rice stalls, you can hear folks asking for less rice and more vegetables.
The Army conducted a massive mobilisation and equipping exercise, the largest since 1985, over two days from 26 to 27 Jan. The exercise saw 8,000 soldiers being mobilised at various locations around the island. About 700 vehicles were also involved.
Dancing on stage in front of a huge audience is something Captain (CPT) Gillian Chan wanted to do since young. She was able to make that dream come true when she joined BreakiNUS, a community of break dancers, during university.
What happens if the enemy launches a multipronged attack, firing at us from both land and air? Can our commanders get a clear and comprehensive view of the battlefield, and call upon the best assets, on land or in the air, to fight back and defend our land?
I've always been the sporty, active and outgoing girl in the family - "the son my Dad never had". It has always been my childhood dream to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with my fellow Singaporeans in defending my family and loved ones should the need arise.
Five years ago, 24-year-old LTA (NS) Leow decided to take a break from his hectic 20-hour work days, to travel the world. An Internet advertisement recruiting farm helpers in Australia led the former bakery cafe owner to live with a self-sufficient Australian couple for a year.
The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and Indonesian National Defence Forces (TNI) shared knowledge and operational responses to various terrorist-related scenarios, such as bomb threats in public areas, in their first Counter-Terrorism Table-Top Exercise (CT TTX), from 28 to 29 Nov.
Whether it's running, heading to the gym to work out, or taking part in sports like netball, badminton or mixed martial arts, SAFVC Volunteer (SV) 1 Fadilah has always been an active person who enjoys a challenge. She has even competed in half-marathons.
Talk about enduring friendships -- the Singapore Army and the Indonesian Army (TNI-AD) celebrated 50 years of bilateral relations between the two countries at the closing ceremony of Exercise Safkar Indopura, which was held at the Murai Urban Training Facility on 20 Nov.
In 2014, Military Expert (ME) 3 Sivaraja S/O Subramaniam received an urgent notice to help prepare the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) mine-countermeasure vessel RSS Kallang to join in the search and locate mission for the missing AirAsia flight QZ8501.
It has evolved with the times to improve its capabilities, but its mission remains the same: to Seek, Save, Serve. This year, the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Medical Corps celebrates its 50th anniversary. Here's our A to Z guide of how the Corps has provided medical support for soldiers, as well as its contributions both locally and overseas.
With training space about a quarter the size of Singapore, the Oberlausitz Military Training Area in Germany allows armoured troops to practise firing at much longer distances, compared to ranges in Singapore. It was home to over 150 Operationally Ready National Servicemen tankees as they honed their gunnery skills at this year's Exercise Panzer Strike.
He's become so well-known as "Ah Long", he sometimes forgets that it is just his on-screen name. After all, it was his role as Ah Long that shot local actor PTE (NS) Lian to fame in director Jack Neo's two-part period movie Long Long Time Ago, released last year.
When we rang the doorbell of primary school teacher CPT (NS) Lee's house, we were greeted by a first generation Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) soldier, dressed from top to toe in his Temasek Green uniform.
There's going to be a new square in the heart of the city. The Marina Bay Floating Platform (MBFP) and seating gallery will be redeveloped into a permanent structure and renamed as the National Service (NS) Square, announced Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on 30 Oct. He was speaking at the 50 Years of National Service (NS50) Dinner Reception held at the MBFP.
In the not-too-distant future, authorised personnel will be able to enter Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) camps with just a mobile application. Named "Smart Base Access", the app conceptualised by a team of Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) personnel and defence scientists from the Defence Science & Technology Agency (DSTA) will put an end to long waits for clearances to be approved and long queues at pass offices.
Singapore took over the ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting (ADMM) Chairmanship at the conclusion of the 11th ADMM and 4th ADMM-Plus on 24 Oct in Clark, Philippines, with a ceremony that saw Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen receive the ceremonial gavel from Philippines Secretary of National Defence Delfin Lorenzana
A desire to serve and help those who need it. This was what inspired the Republic of Singapore Navy's (RSN's) Naval Diving Unit (NDU) to raise more than $10,000 for the Community Chest (ComChest) over the last year.
"To have an effective SAF (Singapore Armed Forces), our soldiers must be fully dedicated to their NS (National Service) duties. They must maintain a high level of combat readiness, ever ready when called upon."
"We cannot possibly do this in Singapore… I think this is a unique environment which you cannot duplicate in Singapore," said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, during a visit to the Singapore Armed Force (SAF) soldiers undergoing jungle and survival training in Temburong, Brunei on 6 Oct.
The ground trembled as Leopard 2SG Main Battle Tanks raced across the vast German terrain. Bright orange balls of flames exploded across the desert as the tanks took turns to take down both moving and static targets. It was a sight to behold as the targets were eliminated.
This year's Ministry of Defence PRIDE (PRoductivity and Innovation in Daily Efforts) Day projects brought about cost savings of more than $197 million while improving operations and productivity. We take a look at two award-winning projects and how they helped to save manpower, time and money.
She loves cycling so much that she recently bought a new set of wheels to take her hobby further. How much further? All the way from her home in Woodlands to Marina Bay to be exact, a journey that takes three hours each way.
A 50-year-long friendship between two countries reflecting trust and mutual understanding. This was what made the historic combined flypast by the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) and Indonesian Air Force (TNI-AU) on 7 Sep -- the largest and most complex between the RSAF and any foreign air force -- possible, said Chief of Air Force Major-General (MG) Mervyn Tan.
The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) has concluded the first Exercise Pacific Griffin, held in the waters off Guam from 19 Aug to 2 Sep. The 14-day bilateral exercise with the United States Navy saw the two sides conduct submarine-hunting, anti-air warfare and anti-surface drills together.
The Republic of Singapore Air Force's (RSAF's) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Command marks its 10th anniversary this year. During that time, both its UAVs and people have grown to become crucial enablers in integrated strikes and aerial surveillance.
Before Military Expert (ME) 5 Kirsten Yuan became a mum, her idea of unwinding and relaxing involved playing some tunes on her piano at home. Now that she's busy with a 14-month-old daughter, her piano-playing days are significantly fewer.
Speed. It is a key to homeland security missions. Whether it is obtaining an accurate picture of the ground situation quickly, disseminating information and instructions swiftly or navigating the urban landscape deftly, every second counts.
While clearing out old photographs, 3rd Sergeant (3SG) Nur Farah Atiqah Binte Mohamad Ah Halim literally found her calling -- to join the Army. This was in the form of a photograph of her late grandfather in his No. 1 uniform.
Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) pilots can look forward to another 25 years of access to Australian airspace for training with the signing of the Pearce treaty at the 10th meeting of the Singapore-Australia Joint Ministerial Committee (SAJMC) on 21 Aug.
"As Full-time National Servicemen (NSFs) have been concentrating on serving the nation for their past two years, they may need to be updated on the latest employment trends and tips on career development," said 2nd Minister for Manpower Josephine Teo at the Enhanced Career and Education Fair (ECEF) held at the Lifelong Learning Institute on 15 Aug.
Operationally Ready National Servicemen (NSmen) form the strong support behind Singapore's defence, said Senior Minister of State for Defence Dr Mohamad Maliki bin Osman. This forms the basis for the country's safety and stability.
Four months into his enlistment, 20-year-old Full-time National Serviceman (NSF) 3rd Sergeant (3SG) Teo Boon Kai was already going on his first sail in Exercise Kakadu, which was hosted by the Royal Australian Navy and involved 10 countries.
He has known the military all his life, having grown up in a camp where his family had their own quarters. His father was a Regimental Sergeant Major (RSM) in the Singapore Volunteer Corps (SVC), and a fearsome one at that.
National servicemen and their families were out in full force at the opening day of the "Get Active and Celebrate NS50" Sports Festival on 5 Aug. At the National Service (NS)-inspired obstacle course, many fathers cheered their little ones on as they helped them conquer obstacles like the Low Wall, Tyre Flip/Hop and the Singapore Civil Defence Force Ladder.
The real CPL (NS) Lim is more subdued than the rambunctious loudmouth he plays in Army Daze 2, but give him a stage (such as the photo shoot for this story) and he instantly launches into the kind of theatrics you would expect of a stereotypical Ah Beng.
Soldiers from the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and the United States Army trained together to forge stronger working relations and strengthen inter-operability in Exercise Tiger Balm, held in Singapore, from 17 to 28 Jul.
YHe is only 19, but big issues such as Singapore’s geopolitical situation already weigh heavy on his mind. “Singapore’s location (and small size) means that we need a credible defence force,” said Midshipman (MID) Satesh Kumar, one of this year’s seven recipients of The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Scholarship.
You've heard of driverless buses and cars that can help you to get around. But what about a driverless military vehicle, or Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) that can take on high-risk jobs, minimising our soldiers' exposure to harm?
After spending eight years working at an events organisation company, Military Expert (ME) 4 Choy Guanghao decided that it was time to chase his dream of becoming an engineer. This led him to join the Military Domain Experts Scheme (MDES) when it was launched in 2010.
To show support for the Armed Forces of the Philippines' (AFP's) efforts against terrorists in Marawi and Mindanao, the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) has offered its assistance. This included a Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) C-130 transport plane to deliver humanitarian aid supplies to evacuees from Marawi; usage of the SAF's urban training facility for the AFP, and an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) unit to enhance the AFP's intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities.
During his career spanning almost three decades in the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN), Colonel (COL) (NS) Dominic Soh has experienced the joys of incorporating new capabilities into the navy as well as the grief from witnessing death and destruction during humanitarian aid missions.
For the third year in a row, the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) has clinched the Leading Human Resource (HR) Practices Award for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). That was one of three awards the SAF received at the Singapore HR Awards 2017 Presentation Gala held at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre (Marina Bay Sands) on 14 Jul.
Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) Senior Manager Gary Kam (middle) chooses to don his "Smart Four" to work on Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Day for a few reasons. One of them is to show off to the ladies, he says jokingly.
One hundred and ninety-seven Colours awards and seven top awards were handed out at the Singapore Armed Forces Sports Association (SAFSA) Awards 2017 ceremony held at Temasek Club on 4 Jul to recognise the sporting achievements of SAF athletes and teams in the past year.
"For the past 52 years, a capable SAF (Singapore Armed Forces) has safeguarded Singapore's security and enabled Singapore to thrive... The backbone of the SAF is the National Service system established in 1967."
This isn't your typical story about a boy following in his old man's footsteps. Yes, they are father and son. Yes, they both served their National Service in 8th Battalion, Singapore Infantry Regiment (8 SIR).
Sharply dressed and standing at attention in uniform, with a gorgeous rainbow in the background for the photoshoot at Marina Barrage, Paige Chua looked every bit the Republic of Singapore Navy officer she plays in upcoming Channel 8 drama series When Duty Calls.
The sea is a lifeline that not only connects trade routes but also ties nations together through a shared history. Thus all stakeholders have a role to play in keeping sea lines of communication open and safe through dialogue, cooperation and establishing a rules-based order.
1st Commando Battalion (1 CDO's) Commanding Officer (CO) Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Ng Kiang Chuan and Full-time National Serviceman Corporal First Class (CFC) Thaddaeus Koh give their thoughts on the unit's win.
The message from defence leaders attending the 16th Shangri-La Dialogue, held from 2 to 4 Jun, was clear: Countries need to sustain the rules-based world order that has brought peace and prosperity to the region, and work together in the fight against terrorism.
Since 1985, the service pistol of the US Army has been the ubiquitous Beretta M9 handgun. As pistol technology evolved by leaps and bounds over the years, the US Army sought a more reliable and versatile upgrade through the Modular Handgun System competition, in which companies fought it out for the US$580-million (S$810-million) contract.
Imagine finding a $50 note on the ground. Or nicking your brand-new shoes. It's the best (or worst) thing to happen to you all week, and you can't wait to tell someone. But then you wonder, does anyone really care?
The frequency and scale of cyberattacks around the world is increasing. Singapore is not immune and is, in fact, on a target list, said Defence Minister Dr Ng Eng Hen in an interview held on 27 Jun, ahead of the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Day.
One hundred and five Operationally-Ready National Servicemen (NSmen) from 128 companies renewed their commitment to the defence of Singapore at the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Day 2017 Combined Rededication Ceremony for the North/Northeast zone at Temasek Polytechnic on 30 Jun.
To commemorate 50 years of National Service (NS), organisers of the 2017 SAFRA Bay Run (SSBR) and Army Half Marathon (AHM) introduced a new NS50 Team Run category for national servicemen to come together and strengthen their camaraderie. This year's event will be held on 20 Aug.
The salute. It's a mark of respect for the people we look up to. So what better way to show our respect and appreciation for national servicemen than with a digital salute that they can receive from anywhere in the world?
Given that they attended the same polytechnic, were in the same Basic Military Training batch, and now, graduated as officers together, it will be a challenge for anyone to find 2nd Lieutenant (2LT) Wong Kee Yao and his elder brother, 2LT Wong Kee Hui, apart from each other.
Smart home systems may be all the rage now, offering convenient management of all your electronic items through the Internet of Things (IOT) with just a tap of your smartphone. But that convenience also means intruders can “enter” your home and take control of all your appliances and devices just as easily by hacking into your network.
The Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA) remains an integral part of the region’s security architecture, and will step up cooperation to tackle terrorist threats against Malaysia and Singapore, as well as enhance the operational value of its exercise. It will also boost its transparency through an enhanced observer programme.
The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Central Band may have been the only Asian band in this year's Tattoo line-up, but it did not disappoint in showcasing a colourful array of cultures through its performance.
Seamless connectivity is something you want on every system, especially when it comes to official records. A new electronic medical records system known as PACES 3 is the SAF's latest effort on this front.
After a three-year study on the safety systems of the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), the External Review Panel on SAF Safety (ERPSS) liked what they found - a sound safety system with some room for improvement.
"Technology is now transforming healthcare in ways that were unimaginable as recent as a decade ago. We must ride on this digital healthcare revolution by going digital intelligently…and using data effectively." Minister for Health Gan Kim Yong said this at the National Health IT Excellence Awards held on 30 May at MAX Atria Singapore Expo.
As disruptors shake up the private sector, the public sector also faces similar challenges. Said Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean: "The Public Service needs to evolve and adapt, innovate and create, so as to deliver greater value to our citizens.
With the growing complexities of maritime issues with interlinked economies and transnational seaborne threats, information-sharing remains the key to keeping the seas safe. Singapore contributed to this with the launch of the Submarine Safety Information Portal (SSIP) on 18 May.
"The theme #OneNationTogether serves as a rallying call for all Singaporeans to band together as we face the evolving security threats as One People, One Nation," said National Day Parade (NDP) 2017 Executive Committee Chairman Colonel (COL) Melvin Ong on 17 May at The Float @ Marina Bay.
"Singapore's huge investments into building maritime facilities as well as the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) and other maritime security agencies…underscore our deep appreciation and recognition that these sea lines of communications, or SLOCs, must remain open and stable for all to use.
The first Singapore International Maritime Review (IMR) brought together 44 nations and was a testament to the strong friendships and extensive network the Republic enjoys, said President Tony Tan on 15 May.
"This course was a real eye-opener for me as it went beyond providing just technical knowledge but…(also) insights into the policies of defence capability development and management," said Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Ong Chiou Peng, Head of Army Systems Branch, at the closing ceremony of the Defence Management System Course 2017 held at Temasek Club on 12 May.
"As an Honorary Aide-de-Camp (ADC) (personal assistant to the President), it is both an honour and a privilege to serve the highest office in the nation," said the Officer Commanding of Delta Flight, 160 Squadron.
A fascination with the Japanese language led Captain (CPT) Ong to start learning it as a third language in secondary school, before studying it formally again while pursuing her Masters degree in linguistics in the United States.
The studio is dark except for pulsing pink lights. People are waving their hands in the air, jumping to the beat of 80s music. It's almost like a disco, except that they are bouncing on the latest fitness fad.
While it is a fact that only the men serve National Service (NS), most Singaporeans are no strangers to this de facto rite of passage. A new Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) Web series takes a closer look at the evolution of NS, and features individual stories and shared experiences of NS from servicemen and the wider community.
For the past five decades, the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) has kept Singapore's waters safe. As the Navy celebrates its 50th anniversary, we take a look at its transformation over the years into a top-class naval force
Speaking at the 6th Moscow Conference on International Security (MCIS) on 27 Apr, Senior Minister of State for Defence Dr Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman stressed the need for Asia-Pacific countries to communicate and work together in order to build a peaceful and strong region amid growing geopolitical uncertainties.
In light of four terror attacks that happened this month alone - in Egypt, Sweden, Russia and France - it is crucial that the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) continues to evolve its capabilities to ensure the nation's continued prosperity and safety.
"This DSO National Laboratories (DSO) Complex is a significant milestone for national security. What the scientists do in this building is just as important as what our soldiers do during their training out in the field."
"It has been a very useful trip, not just a voyage of discovery..., but a reassurance, reaffirmation by many strong friends and supporters of Singapore in Washington, who have given us very good guide posts and who also gave us strong assurance that (we) can call on them if need be."
She has been a fashion model, a beauty pageant contestant, and an air stewardess. With a resume like that, few would guess that 2nd Sergeant (2SG) Helena works in the Singapore Armed Forces Detention Barracks (SAFDB) today.
National Service (NS) is a peculiar time. You’ve probably had to do things that seem inexplicable, but actually have good reasons behind them. What are some of the unusual things you’ve done while you were in NS or Basic Military Training (BMT)?
An oil rig has exploded, and the building is engulfed in flames. Toxic chemicals begin to spill out. Survivors trapped in the wreckage need to be found, but no human being can enter such a harsh environment.
It has state-of-the-art avionics, detection capabilities and communications systems, as well as fully automatic take-off and landing capabilities. The Heron 1 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) is the latest Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) asset to achieve full operational capability (FOC), marking a new milestone in the Singapore Armed Forces' (SAF's) capabilities.
Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen visited a rafting exercise conducted by the Singapore Combat Engineers on 7 Mar and elaborated further on the Western training area development plans that he had announced at the Committee of Supply debate a week earlier.
The world is at an inflexion, and uncertainties abound. The threat of hybrid warfare has also risen progressively. Singapore must accept that geopolitics will be turbulent and prepare for choppy waters.
Up to the point where they started National Service (NS), 2nd Lieutenant (2LT) Wee Jia Yi and 2LT Xuan Yi were practically inseparable. The twins had been together from kindergarten to polytechnic, and even co-founded a theatre group called Bound while in school.
If a crisis occurs, the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) must be ready and prepared. During peacetime, crises can come in the form of accidents during training, operations or events that the SAF is tasked to respond to.
From being an uninspired pre-enlistee to becoming a Golden Bayonet winner, Specialist Cadet (SCT) Muhammad Syazwan Bin Mohamed Zin's journey in the Specialist Cadet Course was filled with many changes.
At the 44th G.E. Bogaars Cup final held at Bedok Camp II on 21 Feb, the Singapore Armed Forces Sports Association (SAFSA) football team tasted sweet victory. They defeated seven-time defending champions Singapore Police Force Sports Association (SPFSA) football team in a 2-1 win.
Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen called on both the United States (US) and China to make clear their overarching foreign policy objectives towards Asia, given the new US administration, at the 53rd Munich Security Conference on 19 Feb. He highlighted that how the US and China engage each other, and with other Asian countries is a key consideration for the stability of the Asia-Pacific region.
It was the very spot which marked the fall of Singapore. On 15 Feb 1942, British Lieutenant-General Arthur E. Percival surrendered Singapore to Lieutenant-General Tomoyuki Yamashita, commandant of the Japanese forces, at the former Ford Factory.
When National Service (NS) started in 1967, it was a different story from what it is today. "People spoke many different languages and dialects; some were not prepared to serve," said Senior Warrant Officer (SWO) (Retired) Ong Hui Pheng.
In the dead of the night, five soldiers were taken out by enemy forces. A plan was quickly formed and the rest of the troops executed a thorough search of the vicinity. Four enemy soldiers were discovered and captured, along with their stash of weapons which include anti-air weaponry.
In one of his most memorable experiences during National Service (NS), Corporal First Class (CFC) (NS) Harold Cheng found himself stranded with his three-man detachment in a mango plantation at midnight while training overseas in 2011. If that wasn't scary enough, the group also stumbled onto an enormous gravesite.
Father-and-son duo Military Expert (ME) 3 Shahabudeen A.L. and 3rd Warrant Officer (3WO) Mohamed Rilwan s/o Shahabudeen give their take on what Total Defence means to them and how they spread the message to others in their lives.
Ahead of them lies nine weeks of BMT. In those nine weeks, this batch of 460 boys will learn what it means to be a citizen-soldier. There are new things to learn, new faces to get to know, and tests to pass before they become trained soldiers of the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF).
Today's security climate calls for states to be "unified and honest with each other", said Malaysian Defence Minister Dato' Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein at his keynote address at the Shangri-La Dialogue (SLD) Sherpa Meeting on 23 Jan.
They run up the stairs, crawl through a tunnel, and come to a room where they can see virtual enemies - known as avatars - through their augmented reality goggles. The soldiers instinctively fire their weapons to take them down.
Senior Minister of State for Defence Dr Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman and members of the Advisory Council on Community Relations in Defence (ACCORD) saw how the Air Force sharpened its air defence capabilities at this year's Flaming Arrow Challenge, when they visited the event at the SAFTI Live Firing Area on 18 Jan.
As the world enters a period of uncertainty, it is important to strengthen relationships with like-minded parties, to help guide the region towards peace and stability, said Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen.
How will the government equip Singaporean women for conscription to National Service (NS) if the need arises? Should religion affect political decisions? How do we view the future of our country positively while tackling the difficult issues at hand?
CPT (NS) Tong, 34, is no stranger to seeing his songs on music charts around the world. He is one half of songwriting and producing duo The Swaggernautz, which he formed with American Idol finalist Jovany Barreto.
Midway through his training at the Officer Cadet School (OCS), Officer Cadet (OCT) Mohamad Isa Bin Saman suffered a retina tear in his eye, and had to undergo surgery. The injury put him out of action for six months.
As the international coalition wins the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in the Middle East, the threat of terrorism may be globalised further as "fighters from Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and a few from Singapore will likely return to continue their violent plots at home".
He was working as a practising engineer in the private sector when his wife chanced upon the advertisement. The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) was looking for experts in unmanned systems and it seemed a perfect fit for Military Expert (ME) 5 Chew Tiau Siong.
"The United States' (US)' role as a resident power in the Asia-Pacific region cannot be for the sole purpose of containing China, perceived or otherwise."" This was one of key points brought up by Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen during the first panel session at the annual Reagan National Defense Forum on 4 Dec in Simi Valley, California.
She gave up her IT career to join the Military Police - at the age of 30. To her horror, Specialist Cadet (SCT) Clarice Ng found that she couldn't do a single push-up and looked set to fail her Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT).
Its facilities are a welcome addition for the families living in the north-eastern part of Singapore and it is already known as a popular gathering place for Operationally-Ready National Servicemen (NSmen) to meet up.
A bomb threat is set off at an MRT station and you're one of many who are near the area. Do you panic and run? Or stay calm, reassure others and try to assist the elderly and the young to get away safely?
Military Expert (ME) 3 Long Lin Jun is many things: daughter, wife and mother. She is also a Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) servicewoman who dreamt of being the first female communications specialist from the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) to join Combined Task Force (CTF) 151, the multinational counter-piracy task force in the Gulf of Aden.
Stepping into the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) as a school leaver, armed only with an "O" level certificate in 1993, Military Expert (ME) 3 Kumaran Naidu never imagined he would get to where he is today.
Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen highlighted the importance of deepening trust and enhancing practical cooperation between the ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting (ADMM) and its external partners, through exercises.
Over the past five decades, Singapore's Defence Technology Community (DTC) has worked silently to broaden the Singapore Armed Forces' (SAF's) capabilities. From humble beginnings, it has grown to become a 5,000-strong group today.
As the Defence Technology Community (DTC) celebrates its 50th Anniversary, a commemorative book series titled Engineering Singapore's Defence – The Early Days will be launched by President Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam at the DTC50 dinner to be held on 7 Nov. At the same event, the 2016 Defence Technology Prize (DTP) winners will also be recognised for their significant technological contributions to the defence capability of Singapore.
With the team name "Powerpack", the team's ideas sure packed a powerful punch as they saved the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) more than $24million by suggesting a customized circuit breaker replacement.
The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and Australian Defence Force (ADF) demonstrated their ability to work together in combat through a complex amphibious beach landing operation involving air, land and sea assets on 1 Nov.
"We have always believed that technology is the force multiplier for the SAF (Singapore Armed Forces). We have therefore consistently used technology and invested in developing our local talent to meet our nation's defence needs. This strategy has paid off."
When we think back on our school days, most of our biggest "challenges" were probably keeping our grades up and maintaining an active social life. But imagine if you had to look after your toddler and care for your pregnant wife while awaiting your child's birth.
Held at SAFTI Military Institute from 20 to 21 Oct, this year's Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Learning Conference saw leaders and trainers taking part in workshops to improve their training methods, as well as learning new and efficient practices shared by other units.
One by one, the Republic of Singapore Air Force's (RSAF's) F-15SGs and F-16C/Ds took to the night sky in quick succession to join other international air assets. More than 80 fighter aircraft were combating one another in a fierce contest in Australian airspace.
"It (The Townsville Field Training Area or TFTA) is a very rare piece of training ground with enough size and distances for our armoured vehicles, for our mechanised and motorised brigades. And this is now available to us because of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), and it shows how significant the MOU that was signed is."
At a time when global terrorism threatens to pull our society apart and terrorist groups are renewing calls for attacks on tankers in the Malacca Strait, it is important that Singaporeans stand in unity.
Being open and inclusive and having a rules-based world order. These were the two principles that Senior Minister of State for Defence Ong Ye Kung underscored in his speech at the first plenary session of the Xiangshan Forum on 11 Oct in Beijing.
"The Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA) is as relevant (today) as it was 45 years ago. It was a complex security scenario back then, and it's a complex security scenario today. Working together is still very important."
Terrorism and its threat to international peace and security was one of the main topics of discussion at the second ASEAN-United States (US) Defence Ministers' Informal Meeting held in Honolulu, Hawaii, yesterday.
"For the SAF (Singapore Armed Forces) to be an integrated fighting force that is able to protect Singapore and Singaporeans, we need to have training areas that allow us to ensure that the different Services are able to connect together and test their capabilities.
"The mission of the Specialist and Warrant Officer Institute is to develop soldiers with strong value-based leadership skills and a sense of purpose towards defending the country. We also believe that community service is a purposeful and excellent activity to inculcate the value of compassion in our Specialists and Warrant Officers."
Today, a wide range of dual-use goods can have military applications and could potentially be used as components of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs). This makes it easier for both state and non-state proliferators to use legitimate channels to mask their illicit trade.
For one day, San Francisco's historic Dogpatch neighbourhood was transformed into a mini Singapore-town. Wafting from an old port warehouse (now an multipurpose space) on Pier 70 was the fragrance of sambal stingray, Hainanese chicken rice and curry, Dick Lee's heartfelt rendition of his hit song Life Story, and conversations peppered with peculiar lahs and lohs.
"Terrorism threatens not just our physical safety, but also our social harmony and way of life. To protect ourselves, every Singaporean has to play his part… You don't have to be a commando to make a difference, you can just be an ordinary person," said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the launch of the SGSecure national movement at the Singapore University of Technology and Design on 24 Sep.
"The Ministry of Defence (MINDEF)… understands that to keep up with the rapid changes in technology, we have to continually look for new ways of problem-solving and tap on the brightest minds in the field," said Senior Minister of State for Defence Dr Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman at the MINDEF Internet of Things (IoT) Challenge prize presentation ceremony.
Watching the Operationally Ready National Servicemen (NSmen) from the Singapore Combat Engineers train at Seletar Camp on 22 Sep made Ms Diana Daud Abdul Wahab, realise that In Camp Training (ICT) was no walk in the park.
Putting Operationally Ready National Servicemen (NSmen) on standby duties, alongside active servicemen, showed their high level of operational readiness, said Senior Minister of State for Defence Dr Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman during his visit to NSmen on Army Standby Force duties at Jurong Camp 2 on 21 Sep.
When the world's naval forces gather biennially for Exercise RIMPAC, Pearl Harbour becomes a busier place. This year, the historic naval base in Hawaii played host to about 50 vessels and more than 200 aircraft, operated by 25,000 personnel.
His journey to becoming a Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) officer was not easy. Midway through his training in Officer Cadet School earlier this year, Officer Cadet (OCT) Brandon Tan lost his dad to multiple myeloma, a form of cancer.
The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) and the People's Liberation Army (Navy) [PLA(N)] will continue to forge new friendships, strengthen existing relationships, and enhance its professional interactions to maintain the momentum achieved under the Four-Point Consensus between the two countries, said the RSN's Fleet Commander, Colonel (COL) Cheong Kwok Chien.
Come November, pre-enlistees going for their medical checkup at Central Manpower Base (CMPB) will be able to indicate their interest across 33 National Service (NS) vocations. This indication process will be done concurrently with their Manpower Aptitude Assessment System.
"It is our endeavour to constantly seek to understand the potential of emergent technologies, consider their disruptive effects in aiding what we do, and subsequently develop promising ones into effective solutions for defence," said Future Systems and Technology Architect Rear-Admiral (RADM) Harris Chan at the Defence R&T Seminar 2016.
The Republic of Singapore Air Force's (RSAF's) Super Puma helicopter squadrons (SQNs) played host to a special visitor on 31 Aug. In his first visit to Sembawang Air Base since he was sworn into presidency, President Tony Tan Keng Yam visited both 125 and 126 SQNs.
"Operationally Ready National Servicemen (NSmen) working in Cleaning Express get time off work to train for their annual Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT), and those who do well are given incentives ranging from $100 for a Pass with Incentive or Silver, to $150 for Gold."
"Singapore is a small country with limited resources. To overcome our limitations, we…must continue to evolve (and)…cultivate an innovative mindset and continue to be curious about the world around us."
Singapore is one of the few countries in the world which has strong support for National Service (NS), and credit must be given to the volunteers who have played their part in maintaining and encouraging the public's support.
The present site at Upper Jurong Road that SAFTI MI occupies today is actually its third home. The "first" SAFTI, or Singapore Armed Forces Training Institute (SAFTI), began in 1966 at Jurong Town Primary School which was vacant at the time. Then-Minister for Defence Dr Goh Keng Swee officially opened SAFTI in Pasir Laba Camp on 18 Jun that year.
With a seemingly endless roar, more than 80 fighter jets took to the skies in quick succession. The blazing orange flames from their engines burn bright against the pitch darkness, making it a sight to behold.
She is one busy woman. When Captain (CPT) Anna Soo isn't working on projects to boost the military's armour capabilities, the 27-year-old is more often than not training hard with Singapore's National Netball Squad.
Over 2,500 Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) and Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) personnel came together to celebrate Singapore's upcoming 51st birthday at the annual MINDEF's National Day observance ceremony on 5 Aug.
This year's National Day Parade (NDP) marks the beginning of a new chapter in Singapore's history. As Singapore celebrates its 51st birthday with fresh hopes for tomorrow, what aspirations do Singaporeans moving into a new decade in life hold for themselves?
"As we operate in times of troubled peace, we need a strong core of defence engineers and scientists to understand cutting edge technologies, and how these can be used either against us, or as a tool for us."
Most people wouldn't think of joining the defence ministry to pursue a career in the theatre. Yet Ms Saleha decided that the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) was the best place to live out her dreams of being a star on the stage.
This year's National Day Parade (NDP) is reaching new heights. For the first time, the NDP will feature aerialists and aerial performances in its Show segment. Taking advantage of the new National Stadium's infrastructure, 26 aerialists will be executing stunts while suspended between five and 30 metres from its domed roof. This includes 20 dancers from the Singapore Armed Forces Music and Drama Company (SAF MDC).
Organisers of the SAFRA Singapore Bay Run (SSBR) and Army Half Marathon (AHM), to be held on 28 Aug, are promising to keep runners entertained this year as the event returns after a hiatus last year with giant inflatable obstacles at the 5km Fun Run, and illuminated acts lining the route.
What happens when security measures are tightened after an MRT station bombing incident, and more people are subjected to bag checks? Or if your new neighbour is acting suspiciously and you suspect that he may be radicalised? How will you react?.
Somewhere in the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii on 16 Jul, a missile is tracking hot towards RSS Steadfast. If it hits the stealth frigate, the missile will tear through the hull, disabling critical combat systems, and putting an end to the mission.
Speaking at the very first SLD held on 31 May 2002, the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew pointed out the two most important security challenges that the region would face in years to come: the United States (US)-China relationship and global terrorism.
The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) has been recognised for its sustained efforts in developing its people, and in delivering excellent electronic Human Resources (e-HR) services at the Singapore Human Resources Awards 2016.
Every year on 1 Jul, Operationally Ready National Servicemen (NSmen) and their employers from many companies mark Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Day with combined rededication ceremonies, to reaffirm their commitment to Singapore's defence.
The phrase growing with your job is usually used as a figure of speech. But to Military Expert 5 (ME5) Narayanan Prakash, Head of Submarine Maintenance Safety Programme in the Naval Logistics Department, the phrase takes on a literal meaning.
With an increasingly uncertain security environment and the rise of transnational challenges such as terrorism, the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) and the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) are stepping up their efforts in the areas of force readiness as well as defence capabilities and technologies.
Every year, the Singapore Armed Forces' (SAF's) Best Unit Competition honours the top-performing units in areas such as combat readiness, operational proficiency and administrative excellence. For the Operationally Ready National Servicemen (NSmen) of 3rd Combat Support Hospital (3rd CSH), this year's win was probably the best way to mark the end of their 10th and final In-Camp Training (ICT) cycle.
Captain (CPT) Jonathan Lau and Major (MAJ) (Dr) Magdalene Lee both agree that their official how we began dating story started with coffee. More specifically, sympathy coffee, as CPT Lau called it. Rolling her eyes in mock annoyance, MAJ (Dr) Lee said: He was just being very persistent in asking me for coffee lah, so difficult to decline. These days, the couple juggle their time between wedding preparations and their jobs in the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF). CPT Lau sees to the capability development of the RSAF's counter-air operations. What's interesting is that, as a fighter pilot, I get to fly what I develop -- training manuals for ACC. It's a very rare chance to see the full cycle. Meanwhile, MAJ (Dr) Lee works on policies governing medical operations at medical centres in peacetime and war. Last October, she flew with the Singapore contingent to Sumatra, Indonesia, to assist in multinational firefighting efforts. We were quite anxious for the crew because they flew over fires and into the smoke. And when they came back, they were all ashen-faced. But no one complained; they all pressed on and took care of one another. Come 11 Jun, the couple will be tying the knot. Last May, MAJ (Dr) Lee said yes to CPT Lau a second time, when he asked her to marry him on a yacht in Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom. And to think it all started with a cup of coffee.
Meet ME4 Ignatius Wang, the youngest Director of Music (DOM) in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Band. Most DOMs or conductors are usually in their 30s, and it often takes a musician at least 15 years to attain such a level of professionalism. Military Expert (ME) 4 Wang, however, was appointed at the age of 24. The Woodlands Secondary School alumnus got his first taste of conducting when he was 14.
The Singapore Armed Forces Training Institute, or SAFTI, has developed generations of leaders in the SAF, and good leaders are critical to the SAF's success. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said this when he reviewed the Officer Cadet Course commissioning parade on 26 Jun, and also marked the 50th anniversary of SAFTI Military Institute (MI). In his address to the graduands, Mr Lee noted that the SAFTI graduates were instrumental in building and transforming the SAF from just two infantry battalions 50 years ago, into the modern armed forces of today that is well respected internationally.
As the final shot rang out, players from Institute of Technical Education (ITE) College Central Team 1 punched the air triumphantly. They had emerged champions in this year's National Education Gaming Championship (NEGC). Having won the competition last year, ITE College Central Team 1 is no stranger to the competition and had devised a sound tactical plan that enabled them to clinch the coveted first place trophy. Team captain Uriah Tan said: In our strategy, we will always have someone behind to cover our backs before we push forward to achieve our objective
Singaporeans can get up close and personal with a Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) warship, docked at the VivoCity Promenade starting from today. Formidable-class stealth frigate RSS Tenacious, together with a Sikorsky S-70B naval helicopter, is open for public visits at the Navy@Vivo event from 23 to 26 Jun. This is the fifth time an RSN ship has docked at VivoCity for the event.
The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) was the only organisation that LTA (Ret) Adam Khoo ever worked for -- besides his own. Find out how tough training during National Service (NS) helped him to succeed in his business. Lieutenant (LTA) (Ret) Khoo, author of I am Gifted, So Are You!, earned his first million when he was only 26. In fact, the motivational speaker was ranked among the top 25 richest Singaporeans under the age of 40 by The Executive magazine in 2008. Looking back, the 42-year-old, who completed his Operationally Ready NS in March, said NS was instrumental to his success.
The Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) and Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) unveiled details of fully subsidised life and personal accident insurance coverage on 17 Jun for national servicemen. The basic coverage comes in two parts: Group Term Life (GTL) and Group Personal Accident (GPA) insurance and will be given to all servicemen in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), Singapore Police Force (SPF) and Singapore Civil Defence Force from 1 Jul.
PIONEER journalist Jing Ting decided to up her coolness factor by joining the Silent Precision Drill Squad (SPDS). She was so cool, she froze. My feet were pressed together under the scorching sun. My right arm was supporting my rifle at my hip and the trigger guard was pressed against my right shoulder. I stared past the audience. I hoped that I looked confident but in truth, I was a bundle of nerves. The band started playing and the countdown began. I took a deep breath, and started my routine.
If you want to build a new and better tomorrow, you've got to start today. This is the message that the National Day Parade (NDP) 2016 theme song, Tomorrow's Here Today, has for all Singaporeans. Written by local musician Don Richmond and performed by local band 53A, the catchy and upbeat ditty is, in essence, a call to action. If you're going to build the future of tomorrow, it really has to start today. You can't wait until tomorrow to build the future, said Mr Richmond, a first-time NDP songwriter. So that's the whole idea of the title of the song, because your tomorrow is already today. If you do something about it, then your future will be great. One-take approach
At the inaugural SAFRA Punggol Waterway Challenge on 11 Jun, a record 122 parent-and-child pairs took part in an unique race on kayak, bike and foot along the scenic Punggol Waterway Park and Coney Island Park. Called the Families for Life Challenge, the race that brought together many Operationally Ready National Servicemen (NSmen) and their families earned a place in the Singapore Book of Records as the Largest parent-and-child kayaking race. Guest-of-honour Senior Minister of State for Defence and President of SAFRA Ong Ye Kung joined in the kayak segment of the race. In all, over 400 NSmen and their families took part in the Challenge, which also featured a race solely for adults. Bonding opportunities Ms Kris Ho, SAFRA Deputy Chief Executive Officer (Operations) noted that the Challenge was organised as part of the Ministry of Defence and SAFRA's plans to provide and meet the social and recreational needs of NSmen and their families. They can kayak, cycle, and run - these are new bonding activities, she said. We wanted to provide opportunities for NSmen to spend quality time with their families and kids. Designed to promote family bonding, the race requires parents and children to work together to tackle various obstacles. Medical doctor Lim Kheng Choon, 41, who took part with his 10-year-old daughter Kyra shared his experience: It's tiring, very hot, but very fun. (But) we encouraged each other and cheered each other on. The activities gives context to (the idea of) spending time together. It makes the whole thing a little bit more interesting, added the NSman engineer who holds the rank of Major at the Air Force Supply Base. Popular clubhouse SAFRA Punggol clubhouse has attracted over 150,000 visitors since its soft launch in April. Its most popular facility is the indoor water playground, which attracts an average of 2,400 children and parents daily, said Ms Ho. Visitor numbers are expected to increase from 80,000 in May to over 100,000 in June, as more facilitiescommence operations. Plans are under way to engage more members and their families. Starting from this month, SAFRA Punggol will host cohesion events for Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) units, allowing servicemen to enjoy a new range of activities such as cycling and other challenges at the Punggol Waterway. The clubhouse, which currently operates a bicycle rental service, is in talks with the authorities to introduce a water sports facility later this year, to provide rental of equipment such as kayaks on a daily basis. Holiday activities Meanwhile, SAFRA Punggol, in collaboration with the Families for Life Council, has planned a line-up of activities throughout the June school holidays for NSmen and their families. These include bungee-assisted trampolines as well as Formula One racing-inspired circuit-style workouts and race simulators. In addition, with SAF Day approaching on 1 Jul, NSmen can look forward to a series of promotions on various lifestyle offerings from SAFRA. More details will be announced at a later date. Visit www.safra.sg for more details.
Just take one look at the National Day Parade (NDP) 2016 Funpack, and you can certainly tell that the Parade is going to be an out-of-this-world and futuristic experience. For the first time, the Funpacks will be made of a special material - a translucent skin that is lightweight, waterproof, and durable. In line with this year's forward-looking theme of Building our Singapore of Tomorrow, we have decided to have a distinctively more bold design for the Funpack, said Military Expert (ME) 6 Benny Yong, Chairman Logistics and Finance for NDP 2016. We used the translucent skin for the first time in NDP history, and that will bring up the boldness in our Singaporeans, taking a step forward towards creating our shared future. The futuristic elements do not end there. Inside the Funpacks - which everyone watching the parade live will receive - is an LED wristband that synchronises wirelessly with the show's lights and sounds. Every individual will be a part of the show when his or her wristband changes colour and pulsates in accordance with the performance. And after the parade is over, you can detach the LED light from the wristband and attach it to your lanyard or shoelaces to use as a safety device. ME6 Yong was speaking at the launch of the NDP 2016 Funpack and engagement initiatives, held at the National Stadium on 7 Jun. Funpack recipients will also find a souvenir magazine inside, embedded with digital content. With the use of augmented reality, readers can access additional content, such as snippets on the inspiration behind segments of the show, using the NDPeeps app on their mobile devices. Colouring our dreams and aspirations Youths will play a significant role in this year's NDP. Said Chairman Engagement Colonel (COL) (NS) Fong Khai Seck: We get them to share their dreams and aspirations for the future of Singapore. It's important that the youth can imagine the kind of Singapore that they want…and to think about how they can contribute to this Singapore to (make it) a nation that they can continue to be proud of. One of the engagement initiatives that leads up to NDP 2016 sees youth and students contributing to a large-scale mural, titled Our Collective Dreams and Aspirations. The mural comprises panels, which are made up of individual paintings digitally stitched together to form a large mosaic. The physical mural, which is 2m high, will be displayed around the National Stadium from 23 Jul until National Day. Renowned Singaporean artist Sun Yu-Li will create abstract designs based on each of the 51 years of Singapore's nation-building and overlay them on top of the mosaic. The initiative is open to all Primary five students from 177 primary schools and 20 special schools who will be attending the two National Education (NE) Shows. Students will be encouraged to create abstract paintings to express their hopes and dreams for the nation. The initiative also includes youth from *SCAPE and the National Youth Council's Singapore Youth Corps. Users of the NDPeeps app can access additional content, such as images and sounds of past NDPs, by viewing specific parts of the murals on their mobile devices. On the inspiration behind the design for the mural, Mr Sun explained that it was the marriage of the feeling heart and thinking mind: In the first 50 years… we were racing to establish the country and fortifying our existence. So, the 'thinking mind' in scientific and economic developments was at the forefront. Into the next 50 years, we have the other side, which is our 'feeling hearts'. Making a pledge In another engagement initiative, children with special needs from the Pathlight School worked together with former television artiste Edmund Chen to design Pledge Cards. Featuring scenes of Singapore's past, present and future, the Pledge Cards are a showcase of the children's artistic talents and what being Singaporean means to them. Called Our Pledge to Singapore, this initiative encourages Singaporeans to reflect upon and articulate their commitment to the nation. They can make their pledges through the NDPeeps app from 7 Jul, or on hardcopy Pledge Cards that will be distributed at the National Stadium at selected NDP shows. Said Mr Chen: My greatest takeaway (from working with the children) is their joy. It reminded me that it's not the destination itself but the journey and process. One of the students, Gregory Lee, created a picture of a futuristic HDB flat with a hovercraft parking space and a destination dispatch lift lobby. My favourite part was drawing my own artwork, the 12-year-old said happily. Although his artwork was not eventually shortlisted for the Pledge Cards, he remained positive: Even though my artwork was not selected, I still found it meaningful (and) I can still learn from it. Another initiative will see more than 850 beneficiaries under the National Council of Social Services and youth volunteers from the Singapore Youth Corps watching the NDP at the Preview shows and on National Day.
With a 20 percent increase from last year, the 2016 edition of the Cyber Defenders Discovery Camp (CDDC) saw a record 400 students coming together to learn about cyber defence and to compete on 6 Jun for the top honours. When the results were revealed, the champion team of the University and Polytechnic category Natus Vincere was at a loss for words. We are happy. Very happy! When asked how they were able to clinch the top prize of $8,000 cash, the team was modest. I think we got lucky. It was probably teamwork as well. We were able to split the workload quite efficiently with two people focused on attacking while the other two focused on defending, and the person who was less busy handled the side challenges, said team leader Ang Zhi Yuan. The Best Defenders and third-placed team from the Junior College and Integrated Programme category, My Little Trojan from River Valley High School agreed and team leader Chen Yi Jia added: I think that this event was one of a kind as it was an exciting and unique event. We were also quite surprised to find that the training was so specific and applicable to our daily lives. The 4th CDDC, held at the Singapore University of Technology (SUTD) and Design, spanned over four days, during which students from universities, polytechnics, junior colleges and Integrated Programme schools learnt about cybersecurity from cyber defence professionals from the Defence Science Technology Agency (DSTA). At the awards ceremony, Guest of Honour Permanent Secretary (Defence) Chan Yeng Kit commended the inclusion of a new topic - Internet of Things (IOT), which refers to the ability to exchange data among various electronic devices, and spoke about the importance of cyberspace security in his speech. The SAF (Singapore Armed Forces) recognises the threat of cyber attacks to its networks and systems and this was one of the key reasons why we established the Cyber Defence Operations Hub in 2013 to step up our cyber defence capabilities. To counter the growing cyber threats, Mr Chan outlined briefly the steps taken by the Government: Programmes and initiatives are being set up to attract more talents for the cybersecurity workforce. The National University of Singapore and Singapore Institute of Technology are starting undergraduate degree programmes in Information Security… (and) SUTD has plans for a Master's degree in cybersecurity in future. This year's CDDC was organised by DSTA and supported by the Ministry of Defence.
Fifteen years since the inauguration of the Shangri-La Dialogue in 2002, global security concerns remain the same, but the players and scale of the challenges have evolved. This was Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen's central message in his speech, entitled, Regional Security Challenges 15 Years On - Same Plot, Different Cast, at the closing of the 15th Shangri-La Dialogue on 5 Jun. He was speaking at the closing plenary, on the topic, Pursuing Common Security Objectives. Held in Singapore from 3 to 5 Jun, the Dialogue has brought together 602 delegates from over 50 countries to engage in conversations to build confidence, while fostering practical security cooperation. Alluding to the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew's speech at the very first Shangri-La Dialogue 14 years ago, Dr Ng noted: Mr Lee crystallised the essence of the two most important security challenges that would confront this region for years to come - namely the US-China relationship, and global terrorism. Fifteen years on, indeed these two same challenges continue to take centre stage in the world, Dr Ng said. Some cast of main characters may have changed, but the main plot remains, albeit with different nuances and new complexities played out. Impact of US-China relations on the world On the pre-eminent power of the United States (US) and the growing power of China in the context of the South China Sea territorial disputes, Dr Ng recognised the contributions of both countries to the region. It was China's growth that kept Asia buoyant, even as the European and the US economies stagnated, Dr Ng explained, citing the economic reforms by Chinese President Hu Jintao that had led to the phenomenal growth of the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the decade between 2003 and 2013. This in turn enabled ASEAN's GDP and trade to rise as well, with ASEAN's cumulative GDP growing over threefold from 2001 to 2013. As for the US, it began its rebalancing towards Asia in the defence arena in 2011, and had successfully negotiated the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade agreement among the 12 Pacific Rim countries. Nonetheless, Dr Ng acknowledged that the South China Sea and territorial disputes had deeper implications than purely a contest for territories. He said: This contest will de facto set new rules and players that will govern state-to-state relations and geo-politics in Asia and beyond in the decades to come. Terrorism as a global threat Dr Ng highlighted that the threat of terrorism remained as prevalent now as it had a decade-and-a-half ago, albeit with different perpetrators: Afghanistan has been replaced by Syria and Iraq, and ISIS has replaced Al-Qaeda and Jemaah Islamiyah. In addition, the undercurrents have since grown deeper and stronger, as evidenced by the growing number of ISIS sympathisers and operatives in ASEAN. Even Singapore was not immune to the situation when it became a transit point for terrorists who were making multiple stopovers in an attempt to elude authorities. Recently, construction workers from Bangladesh who had been radicalised in Singapore were arrested for plotting attacks on their home country. This gathering storm has the real potential to destabilise this region, if not tackled decisively and together, he said. To tackle the issue of transnational terrorism, Dr Ng called on security forces to combat terrorism rigorously. On top of that, he also urged the nations to cooperate in fighting terrorism, saying: Collectively, we must work closely together to build up joint responses and strengthen intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance efforts. Where appropriate, we can combine resources for operation. In closing, Dr Ng fielded questions from the floor and expressed his appreciation to the attending ministers for the fruitful discussions that had made headway in tackling the threat of terrorism. He said: I've been quite happy with the outcomes of this particular Shangri-La Dialogue because… (the attending ministers) found strong concordance about the threat of terrorism. The reason I think that's positive is that it provides motivation to share resources and obviously, the place to start is intelligence. In parallel with the SLD, there have been intelligence chiefs meeting as well, dealing with the issues, and I think they've made headway in terms of the greater need to share sensitive information. So, I think that's a start.
The threat of terrorism and extremism is a global problem that must be resolved through coordinated efforts from all nations and across all religions. This was one of the most pressing issues discussed over the ministerial luncheon, said Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen. He was speaking to the media at a doorstop interview after the luncheon which he had hosted, on the second day of the Shangri-La Dialogue. The Dialogue is held in Singapore from 3 to 5 Jun. The luncheon, a regular feature of the Dialogue, is a valuable platform for ministers to engage in open and meaningful discussions on key regional and international security issues. This year, 24 visiting ministers and their representatives attended the event. As I looked around the table, there were many ministers who came from countries that had direct attacks, said Dr Ng, as he highlighted the pervasiveness of the terrorism threat. It was sobering for all of us that when it came to terrorism, ministers from all around, different parts of the world - whether it was America, whether it was Europe, whether it was Asia, whether it was Australasia - had something to say, he added. Explaining that they had discussed collective measures for tackling terrorism, such as through shared intelligence, better communication and joint resources, Dr Ng pointed out that, regardless of one's religion, everyone had a responsibility to prevent radicalisation. On this, thankfully, we have also leaders from moderate Muslim nations who made the point that this has nothing to do with Islam; it's a religion that's hijacked, and it depends on the moderates - not only moderate Muslims, but moderates of all religions, regardless of religion - to take a stand, so that the extremists don't get ahead or are able to radicalise the younger generations, said Dr Ng. Creating a principled security network On United States Secretary of Defence Ashton Carter's call for a principled security network in his plenary session earlier in the day, Dr Ng agreed that such a partnership would be widely accepted. He emphasised that this would help to set the precedence for dispute resolution: How you resolve one dispute sets the rule for resolving subsequent disputes. From time to time you have issues that come up, but it is this shared perspective that we are articulating the rules for the road that allow us to move smoother,… to move in unison and to reach the destination together. As for concerns in Asia about China's actions with regard to territorial disputes in the South China Sea, Dr Ng acknowledged that it was a growing concern as the impact would affect many nations. He said: The South China Sea is a critical waterway… and everyone recognises that … if there is any disruption to that critical waterway, just as it would occur if there were any disruptions in the Strait of Malacca, it will impact us enormously. Dr Ng noted that the Code of Conduct that Singapore was formulating would encapsulate the rules of engagement in managing the South China Sea issue. FPDA 45th anniversary Earlier in the day, Dr Ng hosted a breakfast for Malaysian Defence Minister Dato' Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, New Zealand Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee, the United Kingdom Secretary of State for Defence Michael Fallon, and Australian High Commissioner Philip Green. This was to commemorate the 45thanniversary of the Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA). During the meeting, the Defence Ministers released a Joint Statement to reaffirm member nations' commitment to the success of the FPDA. They also pledged their continued support for the conduct of professionally valuable exercises. The FPDA is here to stay, said Dato' Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, of the future of the FPDA. These exercises have been ongoing for so many years (and it is) in times of uncertainty (that it is) even more important for us to show that it goes on.
In an increasingly interdependent world, where the security of all communities, countries and regions are interconnected, maintaining global security equilibrium has become a challenge. Thus it is crucial for countries to cooperate for the greater goal of global peace and security. This was Thailand's Prime Minister (PM) Prayut Chan-o-Cha's central message in his keynote address to international delegates at the opening of the Shangri-La Dialogue on 3 Jun. We live in a globalised world without borders, because of advances in transport and communications technology that can connect us within seconds, and this can cause both crisis and bring opportunity. And these challenges that we face are increasingly transnational, said PM Prayut. Observing that the international community was moving from a one country, one destiny mindset to one that was one world, one destiny, he called for all countries to work together to ensure global security. We must find common ground (and) areas of collaboration, putting aside our differences as much as we can. Every country should make a paradigm shift from confrontation to collaboration, and leave no one behind. We must move from conflict to coherence and harmony, from common interest to shared values, and from a zero-sum attitude to a positive sum attitude. This was PM Prayut's first time speaking at the Shangri-La Dialogue, which marks its 15th instalment this year. Held from 3 to 5 Jun, the three-day security forum is organised by the International Institute for Strategic Studies, and is a platform for defence ministers and senior officials to engage in conversations to build confidence, while fostering practical security cooperation. Harking back to the first Shangri-La Dialogue in 2002, PM Prayut reminded all of the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew's speech, in which he predicted that more countries would play a greater role in the region, and that the spread of international terrorism would increase. Said PM Prayut: Mr Lee's observations regarding the regional security situation remain relevant today. The key players remain the same but the security situation has become more complicated, interconnected and challenging. PM Prayut also outlined the topics that would be discussed over the next two days. These include tensions in the South and East China Seas, cooperative measures to tackle the regional threat of international terrorism, and enhancements to cyber security. He concluded by saying, I am confident that there is room for all of us in the Asia Pacific to cooperate, to engage in shared prosperity to share resources, and to overcome conflict. On the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue, Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen met ministers and senior officials from the United States, Malaysia, New Zealand, China and Japan. In addition to hosting US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter on a visit to the Singapore Armed Forces Imagery Support Group, Dr Ng also co-chaired the first Singapore-India Defence Ministers' Dialogue with India's Minister of Defence Manohar Parrikar, on 3 Jun.
Singapore and India are set to further their defence collaborations, following the inaugural Singapore-India Defence Ministers' Dialogue (DMD) on 3 Jun. Held at the Shangri-La Hotel, the high-level dialogue was attended by Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen and his Indian counterpart, Mr Manohar Parrikar. Both ministers released a joint statement that outlined how both countries will strengthen defence cooperation, such as in the areas of maritime security and counter-terrorism. Enhance training For a start, the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and Indian military force will enhance the scale and complexity of existing bilateral exercises. Speaking to the media after the DMD, Dr Ng noted the long history of defence cooperation between India and Singapore. Our various Services - whether Air Force, Navy or Army - interact very frequently. So it's not a new relationship, he said. We want to deepen… the complexity (of the exercises), (and) engagement between our two nations. Dr Ng also thanked Mr Parrikar for India's support for the bilateral training between both armed forces. Currently, the SAF has bilateral agreements for its Air Force and Army to train in India. Dr Ng thanked Mr Parrikar for these agreements and looked forward to the renewal of the agreements in 2017 and 2018 respectively. Good progress At the dialogue, both ministers pledged to enhance the bilateral defence partnership under the revised Defence Cooperation Agreement (DCA) signed in November last year. Under the pact, Singapore and India would establish a regular defence ministers' dialogue, deepen cooperation in maritime security, and encourage cooperation between the defence industries of both countries. Dr Ng and Mr Parrikar acknowledged the good progress made, such as the convening of the first Defence Industry Working Group in May this year. Both also recognised the importance of the Singapore-India DMD in exploring new areas of bilateral cooperation and exchanging views on strategic security and defence matters. Key partners Mr Parrikar highlighted that Singapore was a key partner in India's Act East foreign policy to forge closer ties and security cooperation with East Asian countries. We consider Singapore as a major fulcrum centre for this policy…, a key component, and a key friend of India to ensure the peace and tranquillity in this region, he said. Likewise, Dr Ng noted that India was a vital partner of ASEAN, and had taken concrete steps to enhance security in the region. He cited how India was of one of the largest contributors of assets and personnel for the recent 18-nation ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting Plus Maritime-Security and Counter Terrorism exercise in May. That is a very positive start for their Act East policy, said Dr Ng. Territorial disputes When asked for their views about the situation in the South China Sea, both ministers agreed that any territorial dispute should be resolved peacefully in accordance with international laws. No coercion or forceful steps (are) to be taken into consideration. Do it peacefully, said Mr Parrikar. Dr Ng added: Both (countries) have shared perspective and commitment to ensuring there is free access and freedom of navigation. Mr Parrikar is on an introductory visit to Singapore from 3 to 5 Jun, and will attend the 15th Shangri-La Dialogue which opens tonight. Singapore and India enjoy regular defence interactions in various areas, including defence policy dialogues, high-level visits, military exchanges and defence and technology cooperation.
Countries in the Asia Pacific region share common interests in areas such as counter-terrorism, counter-piracy, maritime security and cybersecurity. Thus it is important to boost cooperation among the United States (US) and Asia Pacific nations, said US Secretary of Defence Ashton Carter. All of these (are) common interests that we, as countries have, so it does make sense for us all to do more together, said Secretary Carter. The American approach - and this is shared by most countries in the region - is an inclusive one in which everyone participates in the collective defence of our peoples from today's threats. It's based upon principle and non-exclusion, cooperation and common interests, he added. Secretary Carter was speaking to the media after a visit to the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Imagery Support Group (ISG), hosted by Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen on 3 Jun. The visit was held on the sidelines of the 15th Shangri-La Dialogue, which is held from 3 to 5 Jun. On Secretary Carter's comment about individuals planning or plotting attacks outside of Syria, Dr Ng reiterated the transnational nature of terrorism and the need for countries to work together to fight the threat. The threat of terrorism is global and there are people within Iraq and Syria plotting in Iraq and Syria against their home countries, said Dr Ng, citing the Jakarta bombing in January, which was purportedly masterminded by an Indonesian in Iraq and Syria. In the last ADMM Plus, as well as the recent ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting, that was the reason for the joint declaration because the problem of terrorism is a global one, he added. As part of the visit, Secretary Carter was briefed on the ISG and its operations. The ISG was established in 2000 to provide imagery, geospatial and open source intelligence support to the Ministry of Defence and the SAF. The ISG has supported operations such as the SAF's deployment to Afghanistan, as part of the International Security Assistance Force (2010 to 2013), relief efforts in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan (2013), and the counter-ISIS coalition since November 2015. Secretary Carter met SAF personnel from the Imagery Analysis Team who had been deployed to the Combined Joint Task Force Headquarters in Kuwait, as part of Singapore's contributions to the multinational counter-ISIS coalition. Thanking the servicemen for their contributions, Secretary Carter expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to meet one of the units that has made a very significant contribution to the counter-ISIS campaign. Following their visit to the ISG, Secretary Carter and Dr Ng flew on a US Navy P-8 Poseidon aircraft over the Malacca Strait. The P-8 aircraft was deployed as part of the cooperative initiative under the ambit of the 1990 Memorandum of Understanding and 2005 Strategic Framework Agreement between Singapore and the US. Its deployment promotes greater interoperability with regional militaries and provides timely support for regional humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, as well as maritime security efforts. There is no country (or) geography in the world that compares to Singapore for the importance it has in the field of maritime security which all of our countries everywhere in the world depend on, said Secretary Carter of the deployment of the P-8 aircraft. So we're grateful to have a partner here in that field. On whether Singapore had plans to conduct joint air patrols with the US in future, Dr Ng explained that Singapore had a part to play in defending important sea lines of communication. He said: Singapore believes that in global commons (namely,) critical waterways, we ought to do our part. That is the same raison d'être that we are in the Gulf of Aden - that we have to come together to cooperate, to preserve and protect our commons. And I think that would apply to the Strait of Malacca or South China Sea or any other water body that's critical for global commerce. Earlier in the day, Dr Ng had also hosted Secretary Carter to breakfast, where they discussed a wide range of security issues, including the threat of terrorism.