For the record

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18 Oct 2019 | MILESTONES

For the record

// Story by Thrina Tham

// Photos by PIONEER Photographers

English 华文

Prepare for superlatives as PIONEER digs up facts and achievements that have set a record in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF).


That's when Seletar Air Base first became operational when four Royal Air Force Supermarine Flying Boats landed there. In March 1971, the British handed over the air base to the Singapore Air Defence Command, which eventually became the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF). Now, as Seletar Camp, it is the SAF's oldest existing camp and the home of the Singapore Combat Engineers' bridging battalion.

44 years and 10 months that's how long Encik Seow, or Mr Roger Seow, has spent as part of the military! The longest-serving personnel in the SAF, he signed on in 1972 at the age of 17 and retired in 2017 at 62 with the rank of Military Expert (ME) 5.

In his long military career, Mr Seow has served in roles such as chief radar plotter and coxswain on ships ranging from missile gun boat RSS Sea Wolf to missile corvette RSS Vigour. He eventually rose to become Master Chief Navy. While he may not wear the uniform now, he's still working; he recently took on the role of Assistant Curator at the Navy Museum in March.

Fighter pilots from the RSAF and the French Air Force after a flying mission during Exercise Garuda 2010.

11,500km The longest distance covered in an RSAF deployment. In 2010, the RSAF flew this distance from Singapore to France to take part in Exercise Garuda with the French and Indian air forces. Two RSAF KC-135R tankers provided air-to-air refuelling to six RSAF F-16D fighter aircraft during the journey.

1,500 personnel The most number of SAF personnel deployed in a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief mission. Following the devastating Boxing Day tsunami in 2004, Operation Flying Eagle lasted over two months from 28 Dec 2004 to 25 Feb 2005. The SAF provided rescue and relief in Medan, Banda Aceh and Meulaboh in Indonesia as well as Phuket in Thailand. The RSAF also flew supplies and support teams to Sri Lanka, the Maldives and Mauritius.

The SAF medical team treating casualties in Afghanistan.

2,263 days The SAF's longest overseas operation lasted more than six years in Afghanistan. Under Operation Blue Ridge, the SAF contributed to international efforts in the fight against terror. From providing medical treatment to surveillance and reconnaissance support, nearly 500 SAF personnel were involved in various reconstruction and stabilisation efforts from 2007 to 2013.

Military and civil forces rescuing survivors from the rubble of the Hotel New World collapse.

More than 500 SAF personnel took part in the biggest rescue operation in Singapore following the Hotel New World disaster. The Lian Yak Building, which housed Hotel New World, collapsed on 15 March 1986, leaving 33 people dead. Jointly helmed by Singapore's military and civil forces, the rescue operation eventually saved all 17 survivors from the rubble.

A team from 6 Air Force Engineers and Logistics Group modified a pressure tester to reduce the time taken in testing the Chinook Rotor Head Seal Pressure. Their project was showcased at the 2013 PRIDE Day awards ceremony.

$222.9 million The highest recorded savings from PRIDE (PRoductivity and Innovation in Daily Efforts) Day in the last decade, which was achieved in financial year 2012. The PRIDE Movement recognises units and personnel for their outstanding innovation projects to boost productivity.

OCS’ Hotel Wing clocked the largest turn-out of people doing 1,000 sit-ups together.

546,000 sit-ups The total number of sit-ups clocked when 546 cadets, instructors and commanders from the Officer Cadet School's (OCS') Hotel Wing did 1,000 sit-ups together on 28 Oct 2011. Their feat – to commemorate SAFTI Military Institute's 45th anniversary – set a record in the Singapore Book of Records for the most number of people doing 1,000 sit-ups together.

(click on image above to view full video)

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