The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) decommissioned the final two Fearless-class Patrol Vessels (PVs) RSS Freedom and RSS Gallant at a sunset ceremony at Tuas Naval Base this evening. Officiated by Chief of Navy Rear-Admiral (RADM) Aaron Beng, the ceremony marked the final handing over of duties from the PVs to the new Littoral Mission Vessels (LMVs).
RSS Freedom and RSS Gallant were commissioned by then-Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam on 22 August 1998 and 3 May 1997 respectively. Over the years, the ships have safeguarded Singapore's maritime interests and territorial integrity through numerous operations at sea. They also advanced Singapore’s defence relations by participating in bilateral and multilateral exercises with foreign navies.
Commander Maritime Security Task Force (MSTF), RADM Yong Wei Hsiung, who delivered the citations, paid tribute to the two ships and the generations of its crew. He said, "As part of the RSN's 24/7 High Readiness Core, RSS Freedom and RSS Gallant each sailed 314,000 nautical miles – 12 times around the Earth – in defence of our waters and in support of Singapore's defence relations. The magnitude of their contributions is outstanding. This would not have been possible without the unwavering dedication, professionalism, tenacity and sacrifices of many generations of officers and crew who served on board."
As maritime security challenges in our region have grown in scale and complexity over the years, a strong and robust MSTF is required to strengthen Singapore’s capabilities to address these challenges. The replacement of the PVs with the LMVs is part of MSTF’s restructuring efforts to better coordinate maritime security operations and respond to evolving threats such as terrorism, sea robberies and intrusions into Singapore Territorial Waters.
Also present at the decommissioning ceremony were past and present crew of RSS Freedom and RSS Gallant, as well as senior RSN officers. In light of the COVID-19 situation, safe distancing and management measures were observed to ensure the safety of the attendees.