What it takes to win Best Naval NS Unit 4 years running
//Story by Koh Eng Beng
//Photos by Chai Sian Liang & Courtesy of NIC
The crew of this year’s Best Naval NS Unit – RSS Vengeance – reported for In-Camp Training (ICT) earlier this month.
PIONEER caught up with them to find out what's their secret sauce for excellence – They have won the title for four years running!
Three interesting facts about RSS Vengeance:
1. The crew are all NSmen
Out at sea, they are on their own, trusted to operate the systems on board the Victory-class missile corvette.
2. They are former Navy regulars or served in the Navy as Full-time National Servicemen
They come back for ICT each year where they undergo refresher training to maintain their combat readiness.
3. The ship is a microcosm of Singapore's society
Outside of NS, they are engineers, teachers, salesmen, insurance agents, Grab drivers, and more. It's literally a mini sailing Singapore!
One of them is Captain (CPT) (NS) Max Chua, who works for a marine logistics company. He signed on as a Navy specialist in 1993 when he took up a Singapore Armed Forces sponsorship for his polytechnic studies. He later became an officer.
After 17 years of service, he left for Dubai to pursue a new career. When he came back for his first ICT in 2015, he was surprised at the proficiency of RSS Vengeance crew.
"Wow! Have these guys ever left the Navy? They speak (the naval codes) like they are still Regulars! They understand the process very well and are very up to date," he recalled.
On board RSS Vengeance, CPT (NS) Chua is a combat system engineer who takes charge of firing the missiles. Although he's relatively new to the crew, he looks forward to catching up with them each year.
"I may not know all of the guys, but right now I just want to stay with this team for the rest of my ICTs!"