(A) Minister for Defence Award (MDA)
The Minister for Defence Award (MDA) is presented to the MINDEF/SAF unit or department for their outstanding achievements in all components of PRIDE, namely, productivity and innovation, organisational excellence, resource optimisation and staff well-being. This year,Naval Logistics Command (NALCOM) of the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) clinched the MDA award for the second consecutive year.
NALCOM has been providing engineering and logistics support to all of RSN's platforms and systems in its naval bases, as well as supporting the RSN's training, exercise and operational deployments since 1986. Winning the MDA for the second time in a row means that NALCOM is now inducted into the Hall of Fame.
To stay ahead of the demand curve, NALCOM believes in innovating while it is still in a position of strength and to continuously seek better, more innovative ways to conduct its business. Staff are encouraged to form cross-disciplinary innovation teams and also to share best practices from their respective domains. To keep them motivated and also to infuse innovation into their daily work, staff's innovation contributions are recognised as part of their overall performance.
This dedication to inculcate an innovation culture in NALCOM has led to many innovative projects being implemented to help NALCOM support the RSN more effectively and efficiently. For example, NALCOM's project to enhance the civil resource requisition process by leveraging technology not only significantly reduced the effort and time required but also strengthened the overall governance of the requisition/de-requisition process. Such was the success of the project that NALCOM's Civil Resource Generation Centre (CRGC) has since been appointed to lead efforts to upgrade and automate the system used to generate civil resources for both MINDEF and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
(B) MDA (Organisational Excellence) [MDA (OE)]
The MDA (OE) is conferred on the MINDEF/SAF unit or organisation which has excelled in various aspects of their management processes and organisational systems in the past year. This year, the award goes to two formations - 7 Air Engineering and Logistics Group (7 AELG) of the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) and the SAF Ammunition Command (SAFAC).
7 AELG continued its vertical climb, capturing its consecutive Minister for Defence Award (Organisational Excellence) after winning the accolade last year. For 7 AELG, Organisational Excellence (OE) and Operational Excellence are deeply intertwined, two legs in its journey towards the ultimate goal of attaining mission success.
7 AELG has engendered a culture of continuous improvement and excellence. Its strong OE emphasis and innovative culture have energised the rest of the Paya Lebar Air base (PLAB) units, leading them to win the Best Air Base award. 7 AELG has also consistently proven that it is the best in operations among RSAF engineering and maintenance units. Its excellence is evident in the many awards it has won at RSAF, MINDEF, national and international levels and clinching the coveted title of the SAF Best Air Engineering Unit 13/14.
The SAFAC is blazing a trail of glory in 2015, achieving the SQC Star following its 3-in-1 Business Excellence (BE) standards re-certification and also winning the Minister for Defence Award (Organisational Excellence).
The emphasis on OE was a key factor behind SAFAC's emergence as a world leader in terms of speed of supply, safety standards and stringent accounting of ammunition, compared to other militaries. Bearing testimony to this was the observation by the benchmarking team from the UK Ministry of Defence which noted that "SAFAC has a very effective safety policy and this is underpinned by a safety culture that is clearly visible at all levels of [SAFAC]… embraces innovation and all ranks are encouraged to contribute towards process and product improvement, accounting accuracy standards that is unmatched among advanced nations"
SAFAC recognises the need to be agile in responding to new challenges and adapting to changes in their operating environment. Hence, SAFAC is developing Forward Ammunition Support Capabilities, Local Ammunition Demilitarisation Capability and the Next Generation Explosive Storehouses to address future needs.
(C) MDA (Innovation)
The MDA (Innovation) is awarded to the unit or department that has best developed and implemented innovative projects with significant impact, while nurturing the outstanding qualities of its people. This year, the MDA (Innovation) award goes to Force Generation Squadron (FGS) of the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN), while the MDA (Innovation)(Combat) award goes to HQ 9 Division/Infantry.
FGS generates full force potential for the RSN and SAF, through comprehensive preventive maintenance of naval assets to achieve the highest state of engineering readiness for the submarines, and also thorough the generation of maritime civil resources.
FGS believes that innovation is the key to achieving mission success. Faced with tightening manpower and resource challenges, both the command team and the people in FGS come together to meet such challenges by embracing change through continual learning and sharing with one another, and push innovation to the next higher plane.
Many of FGS' projects have contributed to better resource optimisation, higher availability of ships and strengthened support for wartime and peacetime requirements. For example, the project to streamline computer and hardware requirements of the frigates' Ship Management System (S.M.S) not only saved the organisation $40M but also reduced dependence on the original equipment manufacturer. FGS' project teams also believe strongly in collaboration with small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to develop and trial their ideas. For example, FGS collaborated with shipping companies to enhance civil resource platform availability with its contractors and shipyard and the partnership led to the development of RSN-yard joint safety manuals.
HQ 9 Division/Infantry
HQ 9 Division/Infantry believes that everyone has a role to play in innovation. Commanders are given autonomy to set targets and provide direction, as long as they do not deviate from any instructions or policies, or contravene safety. Staff are encouraged to surface their ideas, no matter how small or improbable which are deliberated at unit and formation level innovation meetings. When the project or idea is ready to be implemented, the collective will and resources of HQ 9 Division/Infantry are then mobilised to see the project to fruition.
With the combination of strong and clear leadership, openness to ideas, accessibility to resources and established recognition framework, the innovation culture has been firmly entrenched in HQ 9 Division/Infantry. Staff constantly look to improve things in their daily work to help them achieve their primary objectives. Collaboration across units in HQ 9 Div/Infantry also enabled quality Innovations such as "Modular Field Pack Frame" and "ACMS iLite", with the latter featured by ST Engineering during the Singapore Air Show 2012 attended by delegates from 70 countries. These Innovations enhanced operational readiness, safety and productivity of the unit.
(D) MINDEF Innovation Project Award
The MINDEF Innovation Project Award is conferred on project teams that have produced iconic, impactful and innovative projects. This year, the award is conferred on two projects - "Naval Gun Performance Test Using Laser Technology" (by Force Readiness Squadron (FRS) from the RSN) and "Murai Urban Live Firing Facility (MULFAC)" by (HQ 9 Division/Infantry).
Naval Gun Performance Test Using Laser Technology
o Safer working conditions for servicemen
o Vastly improved performance test process
o Significant cost savings/avoidance of more than $200,000 per annum
o More than 90% man-hour savings
Murai Urban Live Firing Facility (MULFAC)
o Improved training realism
o Improved safety during training
o Reduced training duration by 67% from 3 days to 1 day
(E) MINDEF Savings and Value Enhancement (SAVE) Award
The Savings and Value Enhancement (SAVE) Award recognises the contributions of excellent Economy Drive initiatives by MINDEF/SAF units/departments and project teams. This year, the award goes to three projects: "Emergency Ambulance Service for SAF and SCDF" (by HQ Army Medical Service and DSTA); "Streamlined Tanker Aircraft Operations" (by Air Plans Dept and DSTA); and "Cost Risk Balancing - Corporate Guarantee vs Banker's Guarantee (by Naval Plans Department and DSTA).
Emergency Ambulance Service for SAF and SCDF (HQ Army Medical Service and DSTA)
Streamlined Tanker Aircraft Operations (Air Plans Department and DSTA)
Cost Risk Balancing - Corporate Guarantee vs Banker's Guarantee (Naval Plans Department and DSTA)
(F) Smart Initiatives - Concept of Smart Naval Base
MINDEF/SAF is a Smart organisation and has always employed technology to build our warfighting capabilities. In line with the Smart Nation vision, MINDEF/SAF will now strengthen its emphasis on harnessing smart technologies to reap benefits to both the organisation and individuals. This includes greater use of automated technology so that our people can undertake higher value work, and greater connectivity that enables us to collaborate, share data and exchange ideas in a more seamless manner.
Recognising the manpower demographics, the need for greater integration in operations, and the changing expectations of a Smart Nation, the RSN has embarked on an innovative study to develop the concept design of the "Smart Naval Base of the Future". The additional dimension of human centricity is becoming more prominent in making things smarter to meet our needs. The availability of technologies and maturity of ideas have also made new concepts economically viable.
(G) Research and Technology Projects
Systems Technology for Surveillance (Project STARS) - by Temasek Laboratories & Singapore University of Technology and Design
The team aims to develop Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) platforms at greatly reduced scales, equipped with surveillance capabilities that can be deployed in urban settings, such as for search and rescue operations.
Human Robot Interaction System (HURISS) - by ST Engineering & DSO National Laboratories
The current Soldier Systems comprise the Advanced Combat Man Systems (ACMS) and the FUSION sensors (unmanned robots installed with sensors). Each Soldier System has its own control device. These devices use traditional interfaces that require both hands to operate while looking down, reducing the soldier's situation awareness and combat effectiveness. This project aims to create naturalistic and simultaneous control of various modules in the Soldier System, via augmented reality, gestural and voice control. This will increase the combat prowess and influence at the individual soldier level.
"Bird-like" flapping-wing UAV - by Temasek Laboratories & NUS
The concept of a flapping wing UAV challenges some of the fundamental understanding in aero-science and flight theories. In this project, the project team is collaborating with overseas research institute to explore various aspects of flapping wing flight in the hope to replicate of the insect or humming bird's ability to hover and maneuver in an enclosed, indoor environment.