The 12th Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Defence Ministers' Meeting (ADMM) and 5th ADMM-Plus were held in Singapore on the 19th and 20th October respectively. This is the second time that Singapore has chaired the ADMM, a meeting that serves as a key Ministerial-level platform in the regional security architecture, promoting strategic dialogue and practical cooperation between ASEAN and its partners. With the successful conclusion of another ADMM, let us not overlook the hardwork of our servicemen that made it possible!
As soon as the Defence Ministers and delegates arrived in Singapore, they were welcomed by the staff from the team involved in Airport Operations. Being a liaison officer from the Airport Operations Team, 3SG Aditya Ananda from 16th Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence Battalion (16 C4I Bn) was responsible for facilitating the arrival and departure of foreign delegations from their respective country's Ministries of Defence. "This involves coordinating with a multitude of other parties such as transport, immigration and airline staff, in order to get the delegation in and out of Singapore as efficiently as possible," he shared.
Explaining the focus of their planning process, 3SG Aditya noted that the main focus was to ensure that all knowledge of the procedures at arrival and departure points were standardised to make everything was as efficient as possible. "Personnel at every level are required to know such procedures so that in the event of any contingencies, we will be able to deal with the situation," he continued.
Recounting the planning process before ADMM, 3SG Aditya spoke of the meetings held with liaison officers, liaison managers and operation executives, where they run through every possible scenario that could occur during the facilitation of the delegations, hence allowing the team to plan for contingencies.
3SG Aditya Ananda, 16 C4I Bn
For LCP Muhammad Syu'aib Bin Yusoff from 1st Transport Battalion (1 TPT Bn), he was appointed as the Transport Desk Overall-in-Charge (OIC). "My role as a Transport Desk OIC is to ensure that my team and I are able to meet the dynamic demands of day-to-day transport operations. We also link up both the drivers and the delegates' officers, as well as relay information regarding the routes and drop-off locations of the VIPs to the drivers," he explained.
With Defence Ministers from the various ASEAN countries participating in this year's ADMM, it was no easy feat to coordinate the various transport arrangements to ensure a smooth flow of events. "One of the difficulties we experienced was the tracking of movements of the vehicles," expressed LCP Syu'aib. "The task was important as it allows us to account for the locations of the delegates and inform the teams at the destination for them to make preparations to receive the delegates."
Due to the complexity of arranging transport for a large number of delegates, prior planning was required. "During our planning phase, we had briefings together with Airport Operations, Roving Team and Ops Room, allowing us to be familiarised with our roles and how they are interrelated," shared LCP Syu'aib. "We were then given a dry run, which gave us the opportunity to execute our plans and iron out any remaining details."
LCP Muhammad Syu'aib Bin Yusoff, 1 TPT Bn
The Transport Desk Team hard at work coordinating transport arrangements.
In the event of medical contingencies during ADMM, Our Army's medics are on standby to provide medical coverage to delegates, their family members and other staff members, from daily medical consultations to dealing with any form of medical emergency.
CPT (DR) Kegan Lim from the Army Medical Services (AMS) shared about the preparation done in light of ADMM, as well as their standard operating procedures, saying "routine emergency drills are carried out daily within the medical post to prepare us for any medical emergency that might arise. In the event of an emergency, the Medical Team will be activated to move to the casualty site. Life-saving equipment and medicine will be carried along together with other medical assets, and immediate first aid will be rendered to the casualty. If the casualty's condition is deemed severe, this would warrant evacuation to the nearest tertiary hospital via ambulances on standby."
CPT (DR) Lim also spoke of how the medics' training back in their unit prepares them for ADMM. "Back in our unit's medical centres, familiarisation and emergency drills are carried out daily to equip our medics with life-saving knowledge and skills. Our medics are also deployed daily for medical coverage both within the medical centre and out in the field which make them more efficient and competent when dealing with medical emergencies."
CPT (DR) Kegan Lim, AMS
Our medics preparing equipment for usage in case of emergencies.
For LTA Syed Ahmad Alwi Bin Syed Abdullah from the 3rd Battalion, Singapore Infantry Regiment (3 SIR), his role as the Hosted Meals OIC was to ensure that all the multilateral meals hosted by Singapore run smoothly. "Initially, we had much to learn, although our previous experience from planning for the ASEAN Defence Senior Officials Meeting gave us a head start," he said.
Being in charge of hosted meals, LTA Syed and his peers had to know at the tip of their fingers the events that would occur at a particular time. "The main concern was knowing where the ministers would come from and the location they would be heading to next. This helped ensure seamless transition of events for the ADMM to run smoothly and for the ministers and delegates to have the best experience."
LTA Syed Ahmad Alwi Bin Syed Abdullah, 3 SIR
The Singapore Army would like to thank our servicemen for their effort in planning and organising the 12th ADMM, and hope that all participants have had a meaningful and fruitful time in this year's iteration of ADMM.
Written by: PTE Teo Hao Yu
Photography by: REC Nicodemus Kee
From left to right: Chief Master Trainer, Specialist and Warrant Officer Institute (SWI), SWO Yeo Keng Hua; Sergeant Major of the Army (SMA), CWO Teo See Keong; SAF Sergeant Major (SAF SM), CWO Ng Siak Ping; Ex SAF SM, CWO(Ret) Joseph Koa; CPT (Ret) Tiger Hong Seng Mak; CPT (Ret) Shamsudin bin Shadan; Commander SWI, COL Marcus Tan; Commanding Officer SWAS, CWO Neo Chee Wee.
Held at Specialist and Warrant Officer Advanced School (SWAS), Pasir Laba Camp on 15 October, several members from the Warrant Officer and Specialists (WOSpecs) gathered to witness the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Legends Trophies Inauguration Ceremony. The event commenced with the unveiling of four Challenge Trophies, which represent the signature events conducted in SWAS as part of the Warfighter-Company Sergeant Major (WF-CSM) Course and Basic Warfighter-Platoon Sergeant (BWF-PS) Course.
Each challenge draws out the best from the WOSpecs in the areas of Discipline, Fighting Spirit, Innovation, Fitness, Knowledge and Professionalism, all of which are hallmarks of our WOSpecs. These values are evident in the four legends that the Challenge Trophies were aptly named after. They are CPT (Ret) Shamsudin bin Shadan, famously known as the "Terror of SAFTI", CPT (Ret) Hong Seng Mak, widely known as Tiger Hong, ex SAF Sergeant Major (SAF SM), CWO(Ret) Joseph Koa and current SAF SM, CWO Ng Siak Ping.
The Best Drill Award was aptly named the Shamsudin bin Shadan Challenge Trophy in recognition of his contributions as a pioneer of the SAF. CPT (Ret) Shamsudin bin Shadan first joined the Singapore Volunteer Corps (SVC) in 1950. When the opportunity arose to be a regular serviceman during the inception of 1st Battalion, Singapore Infantry Regiment (1 SIR) in 1957, he wasted no time and enlisted. "I was already in the Volunteer Corps at that point in time. When I heard the news that they were recruiting, I knew that it was my opportunity to serve my country and contribute to its defence."
CPT (Ret) Shamsudin bin Shadan
Then-Director SAFTI (now known as Pasir Laba Camp), COL Ronald Wee presenting CPT(Ret) Shamsudin with the Defence Medal. / Photo contributed by: CPT (Ret) Shamsudin bin Shadan.
Revered as the "King of the Parade Square", CPT (Ret) Shamsudin was notorious for his thunderous and ear-piercing voice that could be heard even before he was seen. He had a reputation as a fierce disciplinarian who was feared for taking soldiers to task if their behavior was anything less than exemplary.
In 1966, he was even appointed as Parade Regimental Sergeant Major (RSM) of Singapore's very first National Day Parade. When asked how he felt when tasked to train and lead a 1000-men marching contingent in just 50 days, he shared, "I was given a task by my superiors and executed it to the best of my ability. I am just doing my duty."
The Shamsudin bin Shadan Challenge Trophy reminds us of the high standards of regimentation and discipline of the WOSpecs that has been laid by its pioneers.
The Individual Skill-At-Arms (ISAA) Challenge Trophy was named the Tiger Hong Challenge Trophy in recognition of CPT (Ret) Hong Seng Mak's contributions to the SAF during his early years. CPT (Ret) Hong embarked on his military career in 1957 when he joined 1 SIR. During the early years of his soldiering career, Mr Hong was involved in jungle operations in Sabah where he was deployed for six months during the communist insurgency. He was also activated during the Hock Lee bus riots where he took over as the Platoon Commander (PC) in his PC's absence. "In the absence of my PC, I was tasked to lead troops into the crowd and disperse them." he reminisced.
CPT (Ret) Hong Seng Mak
CPT (Ret) Hong Seng Mak when he was CSM for first batch of Officer Cadets. / Photo contributed by: CPT (Ret) Hong Seng Mak.
In 1967, CPT (Ret) Hong served as an instructor and Company Sergeant Major (CSM) to the first batch of Officer Cadets at the SAF Training Institute (SAFTI), There, he was given the famous title of "Tiger Hong". Known to be a strict disciplinarian, he was notorious for his stern and no-nonsense approach in managing soldiers.
With the Tiger Hong Challenge Trophy, it serves as a reminder of the strong foundations laid by our pioneers that has allowed subsequent generations of WOSpecs to build upon.
The Section Skill-at-Arms Challenge Trophy was named the Joseph Koa Challenge Trophy in recognition of CWO (Ret) Joseph Koa's significant contributions to the SAF in the re-profiling of WOSpecs. Since joining the SAF in 1976, CWO (Ret) Koa held many key appointments such as SM, 9th Singapore Division (9 Div) / Headquarters (HQ) Infantry, SM of the Army (SMA) and SAF SM. In 2006, CWO (Ret) Koa formed the Urban Operations Community of Practices to assist 9 Div in promulgating the Urban Operations Tactics, Techniques and Procedures. He also rallied the Army WOSpecs in designing the Murai Urban Training Facility, which has benefited countless soldiers with realistic training simulations till today.
CWO (Ret) Joseph Koa
During his time serving as SMA, CWO (Ret) Koa played a critical role in the re-profiling efforts of the Army WOSpecs. CWO (Ret) Koa shared, "One of the key transformational changes that came out of the re-profiling efforts was enhancing the overarching role of WOSpecs from supporting the Officer Corps to that of partnering them. With this partnership, we hope to be more active and influential in contributing to the mission of Our Army."
Playing a key role in the establishment of a good Officer-WOSpec partnership CWO (Ret) Koa remarked that, "This partnership establishes the professional working relationship between the Officers and WOSpecs, and shares a vision in building strong bonds within a team as well as formally recognises our WOSpecs' contributions in both administration and operations." CWO (Ret) Koa urges WOSpecs to always strive for their best and never to give up when faced with adversities. "Always strive to be the best so that you can help others be the best. Demonstrate that you know the roles and responsibilities of WOSpecs well and work with the Officer Corps. You will surely face challenges along the way. Don't give up. Your predecessors didn't. They stayed on to make the changes when the time is right so that we all could have the best WOSpecs."
The Joseph Koa Challenge Trophy honours him for playing a pivotal role in the establishment of the Officer-WOSpec partnership and serves as a reminder that WOSpecs are the backbone of the SAF.
The Combat Skill-at-Arms Challenge Trophy was named the Ng Siak Ping Challenge Trophy for his continued contributions to the SAF and true advocate of lifelong learning. CWO Ng enlisted as a commando in 1982 and has held several key appointments such as RSM, First Commando Battalion, Officer Commanding, Special Operations Tactics Centre, SM, 3rd Singapore Division as well as the current SAF SM.
CWO Ng Siak Ping
Being a strong advocate of lifelong learning, CWO Ng continuously seeks to upgrade himself by attending various courses to keep himself up to date. "The world is ever changing, new knowledge is being discovered, new technology is being developed. By continuously learning and upgrading, we can stay relevant and adaptive. Learning keeps us from being complacent with the present and allows us to actively search for ways and methods to a better future."
CWO Ng has received many awards for his countless achievements during his military career. During his tenure as, RSM, 1st Commando Battalion, the unit won the coveted SAF Best Combat Unit. He also received three awards from the prestigious United States Army Sergeant Major Course, namely the Iron Soldier Award, United States Army Achievement Medal and the International Student Distinguished Graduate Award. During the National Day Awards 2017, he received the Public Administration Medal (Bronze).
Nicknamed "Lungless", CWO Ng is also known to be the epitome of fitness, achieving the Gold Award for IPPT every year since his enlistment. CWO Ng believes that staying fit is of key importance to maintaining a competent defence force. "Soldiers have to be physically fit to endure the challenges of the battlefield and prevail over the aggressor. With good health and fitness, soldiers can work more efficiently with a clear mind and body. They can move faster, further and fight harder. Good fitness means that soldiers' bodies are of better build, projecting a confident and fit SAF."
The Ng Siak Ping Challenge Trophy honours him for exemplifying the key traits of lifelong learning and is a sterling example of a professional and dedicated WO for future generations of WOSpecs to emulate.
After the unveiling of the Challenge Trophies, the four legends were invited to be part of the judging panel of the WF-CSM Drill Competition.
Marching Contingent formed up.
The competition saw the two finalists, MSG Muhammad Fadir bin Abdul Wahab and MSG Tan Wei Xiang Jarvis compete against each other as they took turns to lead a 30-men contingent through a series of arduous drills. Eventually, MSG Tan clinched the victory and was named the first winner of the Shamsudin bin Shadan Challenge Trophy.
MSG Tan being presented with the Shamsudin bin Shadan Challenge Trophy.
With Pride We Lead!
Written by: PTE Gordon Goh
Photography by: REC Nicodemus Kee
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