Protectors of the seasA new So Drama! Entertainment Web series dives into the diverse roles that the Navy's sailors play in defending Singapore's seas.
// STORY Thrina Tham
// PHOTOS SDE videographers & CHAI SIAN LIANG
You may have seen the warships of the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN). But do you know the men and women who sail on them?
A new six-part Web series by So Drama! Entertainment (SDE) explores the different vocations of RSN servicemen: from a coxswain who prepares his crew for operational duties at sea, to a military medical expert who treats divers and submariners at a medical centre on land.
“A Journey Like No Other features six personnel from different parts of the Navy. Through their personal stories, we gain a better understanding of how the Navy contributes to the peace and security of our country,” explained series producer Remington Chia.
As part of their filming, the SDE video crew went on four sails on board different vessels, the longest being a
two-day-two-night voyage on Landing Ship Tank (LST) RSS Resolution. But it was on shore that Mr Chia learnt the most about the maritime force.
“We tend to associate the Navy with big ships that sail far out at sea, out of sight of the average Singaporean. But the Navy is also much closer to us and more relevant to our lives than we think,” said the SDE video content producer.
For example, naval divers from the Clearance Diving Group (in Episode 4) perform underwater security sweeps when the country celebrates National Day at the Marina Bay Floating Platform.
On the medical side, doctors and medics from the Naval Underwater Medicine Centre (featured in Episode 5) work closely with their civilian counterparts at the Singapore General Hospital to take care of recreational divers as well.
These are just some of the personnel featured in the series. Watch the series on the MINDEF YouTube channel (youtube.com/mindefsg) from 5 May.
PIONEER takes a peek at the first three episodes.
A member of the project team that designed the advanced warships set to replace the RSN's patrol vessels, Military Expert (ME) 3 Ryan Yu helped to oversee the Littoral Mission Vessel's (LMV's) year-long construction at ST Marine's yard. It was no wonder that he was appointed coxswain of RSS Independence, the new fleet's lead ship, in 2016.
"Finally getting (the LMV) into the water and getting it to sail was really a great achievement for us," said ME3 Yu. "It was very exciting for the crew, (as it was) the first time we got to operate the system by ourselves."
Watch Episode 1 to find out more about his role as the most senior seaman on board the now-fully operational warship.
The responsive one
When it comes to ships, size does matter — but it is not always the case of "the bigger, the better".
"Transporting personnel and equipment in the open sea to very shallow waters cannot be done by the big ships in the RSN," said Corporal First Class (CFC) Muhammad Sardi Bin Abdul Hamid.
As craft coxswain of the Fast Craft Equipment and Personnel, a small landing platform for quick deployment, CFC Sardi works with a lean team to ensure that their fast craft are operationally ready at all times.
Catch Episode 2 to see how his unit was involved in real-time operations of the disposal of a Vietnam war bomb.
A naval officer takes on all sorts of leadership positions throughout their career. For Captain (CPT) Pang Jian Lang, this has included a stint as a naval diver, serving as Navigation Officer (NO) on board a patrol vessel, and now the same role on board the much bigger LST, RSS Resolution.
"The LST is the largest ship in the RSN. We are able to support all sorts of deck operations… We do a lot of long overseas deployments and we're able to support humanitarian and disaster relief operations," said CPT Pang.
In Episode 3, check out his journey on the ship as it sets sail to countries such as Australia and New Zealand.