The Army's 1st Commando Battalion (1 Cdo Bn), the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN)'s RSS Stalwart, and the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF)'s 149 Squadron (Sqn) have clinched the Best Combat Unit, Best Fleet Unit and Best Fighter Squadron awards respectively in this year's Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Best Unit Competition. In total, 18 active units and 11 National Service (NS) units are recognised for being the best in their respective formations. President Halimah Yacob and Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen will present the awards to the winners at the SAF Day Parade on 1 July 2018 at the SAFTI Military Institute.
For the 15th consecutive year, the Army's 1 Cdo Bn has garnered the top honours at the SAF's Best Combat Unit competition, chalking up an unprecedented 32 wins since the introduction of the competition in 1969. Trained to operate deep within enemy territories, the SAF Commandos are renowned for their proficiency in specialised operations such as airborne operations, reconnaissance, and raid missions. The Commanding Officer (CO) of 1 Cdo Bn, Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Ng Kiang Chuan said, "Our win for the Best Combat Unit speaks volume of our servicemen's dedication and professionalism towards training. It is important that our servicemen understand the purpose of training and strive to achieve excellence in their mission. They train hard for exercises which build confidence and sharpen their competency. This sheer determination and relentless attitude drives them to accomplish any given operation."
This is the second time that RSS Stalwart has clinched the Best Fleet Unit award, the first was in 2010. Commissioned in 2009, RSS Stalwart demonstrated excellent warfare competencies and professionalism through participation in numerous exercises such as the Inaugural Exercise Pacific Griffin (XPG), 6th Western Pacific Naval Symposium Multilateral Sea Exercise and Singapore's first-ever International Maritime Review (IMR). CO RSS Stalwart, LTC Aaron Li Jun Hong praised the ship's crew for their professionalism and team spirit. He said, "We have had an extremely fulfilling year and I am proud that the team could remain focussed on the mission and support one another through the long deployments. The team also appreciates the opportunities given to us to deliver mission success and break new grounds. In particular, RSS Stalwart successfully fired a Harpoon missile in a first-ever Designated Time-on-Target scenario during XPG and successfully led more than 10 international warships arriving from the South China Sea for the IMR. These achievements were only possible because of the crew's finest effort as a team and strong professionalism."
The men and women of 149 Sqn are thrilled to win the Best Fighter Squadron Award for the eighth time. It is the Sqn's third win while operating the F-15SG all-weather multi-role fighter aircraft, one of the most capable and lethal multi-role aircrafts in the world, equipped with the latest technological upgrades. 149 Sqn actively participates in large-scale air combat exercises such as Exercise Pitch Black in Australia and Exercise Cope Tiger in Thailand to sharpen their combat skills and benchmark with other advanced air forces. Having clinched the award, the CO of 149 Sqn, LTC Edwin Koh Boon Yit said, "I am very honoured to serve with a team of dedicated and committed airmen. Our achievements would not be possible without the steadfast attitude of every individual in our Sqn, be it aircrew or ground crew, Regulars, Full-time National Servicemen or Operationally-ready National Servicemen. They constantly seek to push operational boundaries and achieve mission success while maintaining high standards. This year's win is a testament to their professionalism and team effort. It is a resounding reflection of their untiring efforts and sacrifices. We are also thankful to our fellow Singaporeans for their strong support and trust over the past 50 years. We will continue to work hard to keep Singapore's skies safe for all Singaporeans.
The annual SAF Best Unit and Best NS Unit Competitions were introduced in 1969 and 1993 respectively to recognise units which have excelled in the areas of combat readiness, operational proficiency and administrative excellence. The units are assessed based on a rigorous and comprehensive evaluation process over the past year. The competitions also serve to enhance mission excellence, professionalism and camaraderie among servicemen in the SAF units.
Fact Sheet: Winners of Best Unit Competition 2018