RSAF must continue to attract the right people: PM Lee

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01sep18_news
01 Sep 2018 | MILESTONES

RSAF must continue to attract the right people: PM Lee

// Report Thrina Tham

// Photos Chua Soon Lye     

English 华文

The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) must continue to attract men and women with the right heart and spirit, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, because it takes a deep sense of commitment to serve in the RSAF.

He was speaking at the RSAF50 Parade held at Tengah Air Base on 1 Sep – 50 years from the formation of the Singapore Air Defence Command in 1968.

Addressing about 1,400 guests including current and retired RSAF servicemen and women who had gathered to mark this milestone, Mr Lee said: "Whatever we acquire... we always strive to extract the maximum value from the new acquisitions by integrating them into our existing system of sensors, radars and command and control networks."

"But a first-class air force is not just about the latest technology and equipment. It is equally, if not more, important that the RSAF upholds discipline, teamwork and commitment, core values which our pioneer officers embodied and passed on."

He also noted that it was the dedication and sacrifice of the pioneers that made the RSAF the professional force it is today.

Similarly, Chief of Air Force Major-General (MG) Mervyn Tan said that RSAF's airmen and women will drive its journey to create the Next Generation RSAF.

Speaking at the parade, he said: "Driving these changes and our transformation are the timeless, fundamental building blocks of the RSAF, our most critical asset – our people. These are the competent and professional airmen and women who, when put together, will form a formidable team to achieve mission success for the RSAF."

Themed "Honouring the Past, Celebrating the Present and Inspiring the Future", the RSAF50 Parade featured 10 marching contingents, a mobile column of 10 vehicles led by RSAF pioneers, 20 assets on static display and a flypast of 20 aircraft.

The attendees included Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Ng Chee Meng (who was formerly Chief of Air Force and Chief of Defence Force), Defence Minister Dr Ng Eng Hen and Senior Minister of State for Defence – Mr Heng Chee How.

The event marked the first time that RSAF pioneers participated in an RSAF anniversary parade, said RSAF50 Parade Chairman Colonel (COL) Lau Boon Ping. Nine RSAF pioneers led the mobile column in a six-tonner.

COL Lau said: "They have contributed significantly to our development in the past…we want to honour them and celebrate their achievements." 

After the parade, Mr Lee toured the new Airbus A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (A330-MRTT) aircraft, which made its debut appearance as part of the static display, and was briefed on its capabilities.

Set to replace the RSAF's ageing KC-135R aerial tanker, the A330-MRTT has better endurance, and cargo and passenger capacity compared to its predecessor.

Its ability to provide more fuel to other aircraft will help extend the endurance of RSAF's fighter aircraft. It can also be deployed for Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief missions.

Mr Lee also unveiled the RSAF50 Commemorative Mural, which featured 50,000 photos of Singaporeans collected during RSAF's heartland shows as well as from social media.

The mural showcased the RSAF in its early days, with an F-15SG aircraft flying across to reveal its current operational landscape. The RSAF's servicemen and women are featured at the centre of the mural, with the RSAF50 logo.

After the parade, the 10m by 4m mural will be put on permanent display at the Air Force Museum.

For members of the public who wish to commemorate the RSAF's golden jubilee, Singapore Post launched a set of commemorative stamps on 1 Sep. 

The stamps come in seven designs and feature various platforms and vocations in the RSAF's transformation journey.

For more on the parade, check out this photo album for highlights of the RSAF50 Parade.

https://mindef.sg/rsaf50_album

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