Senior Minister of State for Defence Mr Heng Chee How visited the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) at Tuas Naval Base (TNB) today.
During the visit, Mr Heng was briefed on how the RSN is strengthening its capabilities to protect Singapore's waters and sea lines of communication. He sailed on the Sentinel-class Maritime Security and Response Vessel (MSRV), MSRV Guardian. Whilst on board, he witnessed how the RSN has operationalised new capabilities to respond to evolving maritime threats through demonstrations by the MRSV and the Maritime Security Unmanned Surface Vessel.
Mr Heng also interacted with personnel from the Navy Medical Service (NMS) and was shown the Navy's shipboard treatment and surgical capabilities. Mr Heng was updated on how NMS provided the necessary medical support to ensure that the RSN was able to deploy safely for operations and exercises, while contributing towards the national healthcare efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking after the visit, Mr Heng expressed his confidence that the RSN stands ready 24/7 to secure Singapore's waters. "COVID-19 has disrupted so much of our lives, our work, and it has also a certain effect on the way in which we go about defending Singapore…the Navy has been able to maintain a very high level of operational readiness despite COVID-19," he said. "And through the arrangements that they make in keeping personnel safe on board, they have actually been able to keep up a tempo that remains unabated in terms of their training and also their exercises. This is no small achievement and it is not just about the exercise itself but it is really about this commitment to continue to defend Singapore's vital interests in the sea." He also thanked RSN personnel for their professionalism and commitment to the nation's defence and ensuring Singapore's continued peace and prosperity.
Mr Heng was hosted by Chief of Staff – Naval Staff, Rear-Admiral (RADM) Edwin Leong for the visit.