The night's watch

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01 Apr 2017 | OPS & TRAINING

The night's watch

This is what life looks like for the soldiers, sailors and airmen and women of the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) who stand guard over Singapore 24/7, 365 days (and nights) a year.

Photo story Ong Hong Tat & Kenneth Lin

K-9 patrol

Six-year-old Jersey, an SAF working dog, out on patrol with his handlers (from left) Lance Corporal (LCP) Teng Hong Yang and Corporal (CPL) Javier Foo. K-9 patrols are deployed during silent hours at the airbase to quickly detect any intruders hidden under the shroud of night.

Taking dressing

F-16 pilot Captain Ravinpal Singh Khaira from 143 Squadron suiting up in preparation for a night flight.

Last checks

Lieutenant Dinesh Rajendram inspecting his aircraft before flight; he looks at control surfaces such as the aircraft's ailerons to make sure there are no anomalies. The pilots visually inspect the aircraft to ensure there are no missing components and all hatches are properly fastened.

Showtime

With the checks done, all is well and the pilots close the F-16D Block 52 Fighting Falcon's canopy.

Move out

Dedicated Crew Chief and Full-time National Serviceman (NSF) 3rd Sergeant (3SG) Bryan Leow signalling the pilot to begin moving out to the runway and line up for flight. Lighted batons are used during night time for better visibility.

Above all

An F-16D Block 52 Fighting Falcon taking off into the night sky for a training sortie. Each night, a squadron stands ready to respond to aerial threats at a moment's notice. These aerial defences are complemented by Ground Based Air Defence Squadrons at various locations in Singapore.

On the ropes

RSS Freedom's 3SG Darren Fong adjusting the ropes as preparations are being made for the Patrol Vessel (PV) to patrol Singapore's waters. Each day, PVs ply Singapore's waters, looking out for unusual activity in the day and at night.

Moonlight watch

The crew of RSS Freedom keeping watch from the bridge as they patrol the Singapore Strait. There is much activity here at all hours of the day, as the duty crew man the helm and communications, and scan the horizon for threats.

"This is Singapore warship…"

Military Expert 3 Kenneth Tham performing a "Hail and Query" by calling a merchant vessel and asking for various details on its crew and cargo. The information is then transmitted back to maritime authorities for verification.

Charting the way

NSF 3SG Khoo Kean Sheng plotting the ship's path on navigation charts. Though the ship is guided by advanced navigation systems, sailors still practise traditional methods as a fail-safe.

Command brief

Major Jagatheesh Krishnan, Commanding Officer of RSS Freedom, at the ship's mess preparing his night orders for the crew.

At the ready

3SG Wong Yeh Geng manning a GPMG during a response drill. These drills are held regularly while the ship is at sea, especially during silent hours to make sure that the crew members remain ready to respond at a moment's notice.

Base patrol

Sea soldiers from the Changi Defence Squadron preparing to patrol the gazetted waters off Changi Naval Base. (From left) Gunsman CPL Laksman, LCP Nicholas Tan, who is in charge of communications, and Coxswain CPL Anwar Roslan operate the Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (right).
Their duty is to ensure that the protected waters around Changi Naval Base are clear of unauthorised vessels.

Boots on the ground

Soldiers from the 2nd People's Defence Force patrolling Changi Airport with their counterpart from the Singapore Police Force. National servicemen are deployed here during their final year of National Service (NS) duties. Each NS unit is typically deployed for two weeks. During that time, they will carry out patrols in the three airport terminals and maintain a 24/7 presence at the key transport hub.

Night walk

Troops from the Singapore Combat Engineers moving to their rest points during a two-week exercise in the Western training area of Singapore. SAF troops train in the night regularly to familiarise themselves with night combat drills such as maintaining light discipline and night-time tactical movements.

Number off!

Combat Engineers counting off soldiers in preparation for a water crossing in assault boats during a rafting exercise.

Move out

The Army Deployment Force loading up onto the Peacekeeper Protected Response Vehicles in preparation for Singapore's largest joint counter-terrorism exercise, which involved the SAF and the Home Team, last October.

Protectors

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