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ISSUE 02 2014

Get plugged in with these smartphones

singaporenavy singaporenavy

Not on my watch

Guarding the Gulf of Aden

The RSN turns 47


Navy News Advisor RADM Jackson Chia

Editor LTC Chew Chun-Liang

Deputy Editor Clara Lock

Editorial Coordinator ME2 Jasper Ong LCP Hans Lim

Photojournalists CFC (NS) Lai Jun Wei LCP Graeme Ching LCP Leon Lam LCP Hans Lim REC S Mitra

Members Jessica Teo Sara Shamini LTC Paul Teo MAJ Gary Ow MAJ Lim Chee Hong ME5 Nagara 1WO Norris Lucius Charles ME3 Conrad Fung

Issue Brief 02 CNV Foreword 04 Quickrep 08 Onwards and Upwards • Searching the seas 10 47th anniversary special 16

Now Hear This • Guarding the Gulf of Aden


Photo Story • Navy@Vivo is back for a third time


Know Your Navy Family • ME1 Per gets a new shot at an education

34 Dogwatch • The beautiful game 36

Port Brief • Pulau Pangkor


Free Gangway • Call me maybe


Back Paddle • Visiting an RSN fan

COVER PAGE Photo by LCP Leon Lam

The mission of the RSN is to enhance Singapore’s peace and security through deterrence and diplomacy, and should these fail, to secure a swift and decisive victory over the aggressor at sea. The RSN will ensure Singapore’s seaward defence, secure our sea lines of communication, and maintain a high level of operational readiness and a broad spectrum of capabilities to support our national interest. NAVY NEWS is a publication of the Republic of Singapore Navy. The views expressed by its writers do not necessarily reflect the official views of the Navy or the Ministry of Defence. NAVY NEWS is not to be reproduced in whole or in parts without the written consent of the RSN. For enquiries and comments, please call 6768 3367 or email us at navynews@defence.gov.sg or Navy News, NIC, NOD (OA email).



The following is an excerpt from RADM Ng Chee Peng’s speech at the 47th Anniversary of the RSN: We stood proud as we celebrated the RSN’s 47th anniversary in May. From a humble beginning, we have come a long way to become the formidable force that we are. Today the RSN is capable of carrying out a wide spectrum of operations, ready to secure Singapore’s seaward defence, to lead a whole-ofgovernment approach in maritime security, to support SAF’s operations, and to expand Singapore’s defence policy space. In the past work year, we continued to make good progress and have laid strong foundations to ensure enduring success into the future. Let me highlight some of our key achievements in the past work year.

RADM Ng Chee Peng Chief of Navy

Our People’s Contributions The fleet executed a range of operations and exercises, demonstrating our capabilities and high operational readiness. Our Fokker-50 Maritime Patrol Aircraft executed an air-tosurface harpoon missile firing during Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT). Our command team led the multinational counter-piracy coalition Combined Task Force 151 for the third time, and our frigate RSS TENACIOUS has successfully completed a three-month deployment in the Gulf of Aden. We responded swiftly to the MH370 incident, deploying frigate RSS STEADFAST, missile corvette RSS VIGOUR, and submarine support and rescue vessel MV Swift Rescue at short notice. Our base defence squadrons attained A grades in the inspections conducted by 2PDF, and Changi Defence Squadron attained the highest score among all SAF camps audited. To the fleet, well done for these achievements! You have done us proud. In the Maritime Security Task Force (MSTF), our watch-keepers and sailors continue to maintain a vigilant 24/7 watch over our seas. Our watch-keepers and sailors have sacrificed countless weekends and public holidays to protect our sovereignty and to keep the Singapore Strait and its approaches safe from maritime threats. MSTF continues to drive the whole-of-government approach to ensure Singapore’s maritime security, and has achieved full operational capability for the National Maritime Security System in Exercise Highcrest. Our Information Fusion


Centre has established linkages with operational centres from multiple countries, and continues to grow its reach to further entrench Singapore as a maritime security hub. To the MSTF team, well done for guarding our frontline 24/7. Behind every successful mission accomplished by our ships, we have a team from the Naval Logistics Organisation (NLO) providing strong and reliable logistics and engineering support. NLD’s relentless pursuit for excellence in logistics and engineering support has given us a clear and sustained competitive edge. In the midst of keeping the Navy’s systems up and running, Naval Logistics Command also managed to successfully organise the Navy Open House and three Navy@Vivo events, spearheading the RSN’s efforts in building affective resonance within and beyond the Navy. To the NLO team, well done for your accomplishments. Our people in the training community have worked hard to transform the training ecosystem. Training Command has been restructured into the new Maritime Training and Doctrine Command, and the Naval Military Expert Institute was inaugurated, comprising seven specialised schools for each of our core naval war-fighting domains. Well done for transforming our training system to sustain excellence, and keep up the unwavering efforts to develop our trainees into competent, confident and committed sailors. The Naval Diving Unit has made numerous contributions last year, ranging from underwater security sweeps for national level events like last year’s National Day Parade, to the dive support for fleet and MSTF exercises. Well done especially for the successful disposal of the WWII ordnance in Singapore Strait, and for your contributions in Operation Blue Sapphire (Maritime). I would also like to acknowledge Naval Medical Service for the dedicated and professional medical support that you have accorded to all our servicemen. Last but not least, I want to commend the members of RSN Headquarters, for your sterling efforts in setting our policies, administration and plans for the RSN. It is hard work, and the fruits of your labour may take some time to become visible. But know that your good work has been instrumental in charting the directions ahead, and in forging enduring success for the RSN.

Conclusion The RSN has achieved much in the past work year, and my heartfelt thanks go out to every single one of you – it is your hard work, dedication, and commitment that have enabled all these achievements. To the men and women of Team Navy, Bravo Zulu, and keep up the good work!





Government Parliamentary Committee visit to Singapore Maritime Crisis Centre Basic Specialisation Course family engagement programme Family and friends of trainees from the Basic Specialisation Course 3/13 visited RSS PANGLIMA on 1 Mar to understand the training conducted by the Naval Military Institute. They also got a guided tour of Changi Naval Base. The family engagement programme was conducted by Advanced Specialisation Course (ASC) 2/13 trainees.

On 22 Apr, Members of the Government Parliamentary Committees for Defence and Foreign Affairs, and Home Affairs and Law visited the Singapore Maritime Crisis Centre at Changi Naval Base. During the visit, members were briefed on the National Maritime Security System, a whole-of-government framework to achieve tighter integration among maritime agencies to deal with maritime security threats in Singapore.

Naval Warfare Officers Course 18 naval officers graduated from the 42nd Naval Warfare Officers Course to become Principal Warfare Officers on 24 Apr. The top students were CPT Lau Jianmin Jamin (strike warfare) and CPT Thung Yee Meng (specialised warfare). CPT Tung Wan Ling was the distinguished graduate for strike warfare.

Electronic Warfare forum The Electronic Warfare community came together on 7 Mar to share best practices in their field. The forum was held at Victory Hall, Maritime Training and Doctrine Command. SLTC Foong Kok Pun, Commander of the Naval Military Expert Institute, was the guest-of-honour.

18/13 Specialist combined graduation parade

Naval Junior Officers Course 10/13 graduation

14 Naval Divers donned the rank of 3SG at the Specialist Combined Graduation Parade held on 28 Mar. Minister of State (Home Affairs and Foreign Affairs) Mr Masagos Zulkifli presided over the event, held at Pasir Laba Camp.

28 Naval Officers graduated from the Naval Junior Officers Course 10/13 on 14 Mar. The class completed six months of naval leadership and navigation training, including an overseas navigation deployment to Penang, Malaysia. The course was conducted by Navigation and Sailor Skills School. CPT Lin Dianxue topped the course, while LTA Chua Sheng Hao was named distinguished graduate.

Naval Diving Unit graduation parade Trainees from the 40th Combat Diving Course were declared combat-ready in an underwater graduation parade held at Sembawang Camp on 3 Apr. The reviewing officer, RADM Tan Wee Beng, dived underwater to inspect the parade.


Advanced Specialisation Course 2/13 trainees volunteer at soup kitchen 20 trainees from the Advanced Specialisation Course 2/13 volunteered in April at Willing Hearts, a non-profit organisation. They helped to wash, cut and cook food before packing and delivering the prepared lunches. Willing Hearts operates a soup kitchen that provides daily meals for the needy.

Regional Maritime Security Practitioner Course The course, which was conducted from 2 to 6 Jun, was co-organised by the Information Fusion Centre and the S.Rajaratnam School of International Studies. Participants discussed maritime security issues and shared best practices.

Information Fusion Centre maritime security workshop The Information Fusion Centre (IFC) commemorated its 5th Anniversary with a Maritime Security Workshop held from 23 to 24 Apr. The event was held to enhance maritime situational awareness and establish the IFC as a regional Maritime Informationsharing Hub. Representatives from 15 countries participated in the workshop.

33rd Tri-Service War Fighter Course 68 officers graduated from the course, which was conducted from 5 to 30 May at SAF Advanced Schools. CPT Bertram Ang emerged as top student, while CPT Thung Yee Meng and CPT Lau Jianmin Jamin were among six distinguished graduates from the three services.




WHERE We’ve BeeN Ex PELICAN Frigate RSS INTREPID took part in Exercise PELICAN, a bilateral exercise with the Royal Brunei Navy. The 33rd instalment of Exercise PELICAN was held from 4 to 10 Jun, and featured naval warfare serials such as gunnery firings and helicopter operations.

Midshipman Sea Training Deployment 1/14 Midshipmen from the 71st Midshipman Sea Training Deployment returned home on 15 Apr after seven weeks aboard landing ship tank RSS RESOLUTION. They called on ports in Busan, Danang and Kota Kinabalu, and participated in the multilateral humanitarian assistance and disaster relief exercise, EX KOMODO, in the South China Sea.

Multilateral Maritime Exercise and Western Pacific Naval Symposium Frigate RSS FORMIDABLE participated in the Multilateral Maritime Exercise in Qingdao, China on 24 Apr, at the invitation of the People’s Liberation Army (Navy) for their 65th anniversary celebrations. Chief of Navy RADM Ng Chee Peng also attended the 14th Western Pacific Naval Symposium (WPNS) from 22 to 23 Apr, which was held in conjunction with the event.

Courtesy Calls on CNV Australia RADM Ray Griggs, Chief of Navy, Royal Australian Navy

China RADM Han Xiaohu, Commander PLA(N) Training Task Force and Assistant to PLA(N) Chief of Naval Operations, People’s Liberation Army (Navy)

India Ex Golden sand The RSN participated in Exercise GOLDEN SAND, a tri-service exercise held from 14 to 28 Apr. The exercise required SAF personnel to conduct a battalion coastal hook to test its integration and operational readiness. The coastal hook involved SAF troops and M113 Armoured Personnel Carriers disembarking from RSN fast crafts with support from RSAF AH-64D Apache helicopters.


Operation Blue Sapphire (Maritime) A 151-strong SAF Task Group sailed off on frigate RSS TENACIOUS on 17 Mar to be part of the multinational counter-piracy coalition Combined Task Force 151. Read more about the deployment on page 16, and spur on the crew by sending your well-wishes via www.seaofsupport.sg

SIMBEX Missile corvette RSS VALOUR and patrol vessel RSS INDEPENDENCE took part in SIMBEX, which was held from 22 to 27 May. The exercise was hosted by the Indian Navy and underscores the long-standing defence ties between both countries. The sea phase of the exercise was held in the Andaman Sea.

VADM Satish Soni, Flag Officer Commanding-InChief, Southern Naval Command, Indian Navy

New Zealand RADM Jack Steer, Chief of Navy, Royal New Zealand Navy



Searching the seas   Story by Leon Lam Photos courtesy of RSS STEADFAST

The RSN contributes to the search and locate operations for missing Malaysian Airlines aircraft MH370.


PT David Kan had just returned from a 11-day bilateral exercise between the RSN and the Royal Malaysian Navy when he learnt of missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370. Less than 48 hours later, the navigation officer of frigate RSS STEADFAST was back at sea with the rest of the crew on a searchand-locate effort for the missing plane. The frigate was joined by missile corvette RSS VIGOUR and submarine support rescue vessel MV SWIFT RESCUE. Air assets Sikorsky S-70B Naval Helicopter, Fokker-50 Maritime Patrol Aircraft and C-130 Hercules Aircraft also contributed to the search effort. A team of divers from the Naval Diving Unit and medical elements from the Naval Medical Service were attached to MV SWIFT RESCUE, while RSS VIGOUR sailed with an unmanned aerial vehicle team on board. The first week of the search took place in the South China Sea, where the total search sector designated by the Royal Malaysian Navy covered an area of more than 300,000 square kilometres.


Every day, RSS STEADFAST and RSS VIGOUR searched over 300 square kilometres each, an area about four times the size of Singapore.

Spotting pieces of orange or yellow canvas was ‘exciting’, said MAJ Wee Eng Peng, a TACCO, because it looked like life jackets that survivors might be wearing.

Searching such a vast and monotonous landscape proved challenging, but cooperation among ships and nations made the task a little less daunting.

He added that although the crew did not find anything significant, they were happy to help the families of those onboard the missing flight in their time of need, a sentiment shared by many in the search and rescue effort.

RSN officer CPT Sing Geok Wei, Operations Officer aboard RSS STEADFAST, helped coordinate search efforts between the RSN and other navies. This involved deconflicting the aircraft for aerial search from different navies to ensure safety and efficiency. Each time the naval helicopter took off, it spent about three hours searching. A Tactical Coordinating Officer (TACCO) would use the radar and electro optic sensor system to pick up larger objects, while the pilots and sensor supervisor would conduct a visual search with a binoculars and a digital single lens reflex camera. When the aerial search was punctuated by sightings of debris, it raised spirits temporarily.

The ships and aircraft ceased SAL operations in the South China Sea on 15 March after the search shifted to the South Indian Ocean. Thereafter, the Singapore Armed Forces offered Malaysia the help of its Information Fusion Centre (IFC). The IFC has a network of navies and civilian shipping companies worldwide. It also has International Liaison Officers stationed in Singapore who helped coordinate actions with various countries. Tapping on this network, shipping information and reports from hundreds of ships transiting the search areas were collated and reported daily to the Malaysian authority and Australian Maritime Safety Authority to assist in their search.

It was an utmost demonstration of our operational readiness to respond to contingencies and the dedication of our men and women. – COL Seah Poh Yeen, Commanding Officer of 185 Squadron


47 anniversary Special



47 anniversary Special

Singapore is a maritime nation, and our security and success continues to be inextricably linked to the sea. Today, the vital tasks of ensuring Singapore’s seaward defence and protecting its sea lines of communication are the raison d’etre of the RSN. Since its inception in 1967, the RSN has grown from a two-ship outfit to a well-balanced and strong naval force. Navy News commemorates the RSN’s 47th year in service.


47 anniversary Special

47 anniversary Special

Around the world with

the RSN Beyond protecting Singapore’s waters, the RSN also participates in overseas exercises and operations, such as those shown here.

Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC) Singapore first participated in RIMPAC in 2008. RIMPAC is organised by the United States Navy’s Pacific Fleet and held off the coast of Hawaii. In the 2012 instalment of RIMPAC, frigate RSS FORMIDABLE successfully fired two Harpoon Surface-to-Surface missiles. Frigate RSS INTREPID is participating in this year’s exercise.

Operation Blue Sapphire The Gulf of Aden (GoA), which runs between Yemen and Somalia in the Arabian Sea, is a vital waterway for sea trade that is threatened by piracy. Since 2009, the SAF has contributed a total of nine deployments to international counter-piracy efforts in the GoA.


Operation Blue Orchid To support the reconstruction effort of Iraq, Singapore sent five landing ship tank (LST) deployments into theatre from 2003 to 2008 to stand guard over the Al Basra Oil Terminal. The terminal accounted for 90% of Iraq’s oil output, which made up 95% of Iraqi government revenue – a crucial resource for Iraq to rebuild its economy.

Operation Flying Eagle When the Boxing Day tsunami struck the western coast of Sumatra in 2004, the SAF launched Operation Flying Eagle (OFE). Teams were assembled and deployed between 48 to 72 hours. Three LSTs spent three weeks in Banda Aceh, Medan and Meulaboh providing humanitarian aid and disaster relief.

Exercise Malapura This year’s Exercise Malapura marked the 30th anniversary of the bilateral exercise between the RSN and the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN). Over three decades, Exercise Malapura has evolved to include more complex warfare serials and maritime security elements, such as merchant ship monitoring and compliant boarding exercises.

Exercise Singsiam

Singapore-Indian Maritime Bilateral Exercise (SIMBEX)

The exercise, which is held between the RSN and the Royal Thai Navy (RTN) has expanded in scope and complexity, evolving from conventional naval warfare serials to incorporate aerial and underwater warfare scenarios.

Exercise Pelican Exercise Pelican underscores the strong and long-standing defence ties between the RSN and the Royal Brunei Navy (RBN), and is into its 33rd instalment this year.

The Singapore-Indian Maritime Bilateral Exercise (SIMBEX) first took place in 1994. Over the years, SIMBEX has grown in tactical complexity and expanded beyond its traditional emphasis on anti-submarine warfare to incorporate elements of anti-air and anti-surface warfare.

Exercise Lion Zeal Exercise Lion Zeal, which was established in 1999, aims to enhance the interoperability of the RSN and the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN). In 2012, frigate RSS STALWART participated in the exercise, which included anti-air exercises and live firing against a towed air target.

Exercise Singaroo This bilateral maritime exercise between the RSN and the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) was last conducted in 2012. It took place off the coast of Darwin where both navies conducted maritime security serials as well as conventional warfare serials against aerial, surface and underwater threats.


47 anniversary Special

47 anniversary Special

5 May 1967 The red-and-white RSN ensign, which bears Singapore’s crescent moon and five stars and an eight-pointed mariner’s star, is raised for the first time.

In 1974, the RSN was the first navy in Southeast Asia to fire an anti-ship missile. Missile gun boat RSS SEA WOLF fired a Gabriel Surface-toSurface Missile.

160 42

There were 42 trainees in the first batch of locally trained midshipmen, who entered midshipman school in 1974. Prior to that, all midshipmen were trained by overseas navies. The first batch of naval recruits joined the RSN in 1969, and comprised 160 men.

Brani Naval Base

Tuas Naval base

Changi Naval base




The RSN’s first naval base was opened on Pulau Brani


The SAF diving centre was formed in 1971, comprising just 16 divers. It was renamed the Naval Diving Unit in 1975.

Tuas Naval Base opened in 1994, and Brani Naval Base ceased operations in 2000

Changi Naval Base, which was built on reclaimed land, was opened in 2004

Formidable-Class Frigate

Fearless-Class Patrol Vessel

Length: Weight: Speed: Manned by:

Length: Weight: Speed: Manned by:

114m 3200 tonnes In excess of 25 knots (46 km/h) 72-man crew and 19 air detachment personnel

55m 500 tonnes In excess of 20 knots (37 km/h) 30-man crew

Bedok-Class Mine Counter-Measure Vessel

Endurance-Class Landing Ship Tank

Length: Weight: Speed: Manned by:

Length: Weight: Speed: Manned by:

47.5m 360 tonnes In excess of 15 knots (27.8 km/h) 31-man crew

141m 6000 tonnes In excess of 15 knots (27.8 km/h) 81-man crew

Victory-Class Missile Corvette

MV Swift Rescue

Length: Weight: Speed: Manned by:

Length: Weight: Speed: Manned by:

62m 530 tonnes In excess of 30 knots (55.6 km/h) 46-man crew

85m 4300 tonnes Up to 12 knots (22.2 km/h) 27-man crew

Challenger-Class Submarine

Archer-Class Submarine

Length: Weight: Speed: Manned by:

Length: Weight: Speed: Manned by:

51m 1130 tonnes 10 knots (11.5 km/h) on the surface, 16 knots (29.6 km/h) when submerged 28-man crew

60.5 m (198.5 ft) 1070 tonnes 8 knots (14.8 km/h) on the surface, 15 knots (27.8 km/h) when submerged 28-man crew

Sikorsky S70-B Naval Helicopter

Fokker-50 Maritime Patrol Aircraft

Length: Weight: Speed: Manned by:

Length: 25m Weight: 21.5 tonnes Wingspan: 29 Speed: 220 knots (407.4 km/h) Manned by: 6-man crew

19.76m 9.6 tonnes 140 knots (259.3 km/h) 4-man crew



Guarding the gulf of aden   Story and photos by Clara Lock Selected photos courtesy of ME1 Goh Yao Xing and RSS TENACIOUS

Out in pirate alley, RSS TENACIOUS provides reassurance and safe cover for merchant vessels transiting the Gulf of Aden.


wilight out at sea is a swift descent of daylight into the cover of darkness.

As visibility dips, vessels in the distance are quickly reduced to specks of light on the horizon; shadowy silhouettes on the ship’s electro optic sensor system (EOS). Navigation becomes more difficult; the bridge is bathed in an unearthly palette of reds and greens – lights specially chosen to help the human eye adapt to the night. For merchant vessels in the Gulf of Aden, dawn and dusk are some of the most vulnerable hours of the day. Pirates in the region often use this time to launch their attacks to evade detection. These merchant vessels, with an estimated net worth that extends into the millions, grow nervous, especially when skiffs and dhows come too close for comfort. Merchant Vessel (MV) ZIM CHINA was

The ship security team on board RSS TENACIOUS can launch rigid hull inflatable boats to conduct compliant boarding and investigate skiffs suspected of piracy. 16


one such ship when she called RSS TENACIOUS about a passing dhow towing two skiffs.

Modus Operandi Pirates in the region operate out of small speedboats called skiffs, which work in tandem with larger vessels called dhows. Dhows may disguise themselves as fishing boats among the large fishing community, and act as a mother ship for the skiffs. Once they locate a target vessel, pirates launch the skiffs and attempt to either rob or take it hostage. They use grappling hooks, ladders and small arms such as hand guns and assault rifles to take over a ship. The attack, if successful, is a lucrative affair. In 2012, pirates took merchant vessel MT SMYRNI hostage for a ransom of $12 million USD, the highest known amount so far.

Personnel on the bridge keep an eye on vessels in the vicinity using radars, electro optic sensor system and binoculars.


Formidable-class stealth frigates, first commissioned in 2007, are equipped with Harpoon surface-to-surface missiles, Aster surface-to-air missiles and Whitehead torpedoes. Smaller derivatives of the French La Fayette class frigates, the frigates are designed to have low radar, acoustic, infrared and electromagnetic signatures.

singaporenavy singaporenavy

Navy News Issue 2 (2014) www.navy.sg

Endurance-class landing ship tanks are the largest vessels in the RSN. The 141 metre-long ships, which were designed and built locally, provide sealift capability to the RSN by way of their well docks and flight decks. They have participated in multinational exercises and operations, such as the Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations following the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami.

A member of the ship security team prepares for a currency shoot. During the shoot, they fire weapons such as the MP5 sub machine gun and side arms at a target stand placed at the bow of the ship.

singaporenavy singaporenavy

Navy News Issue 2 (2014) www.navy.sg

Victory-class missile corvettes are the fastest ships in the RSN, capable of reaching speeds in excess of 30 knots. Their complement of Harpoon surface-to-surface missiles and Barak anti-air missiles allow them to engage a variety of threats, while the ScanEagle Unmanned Aerial Vehicle grants them an additional eye in the sky.

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Navy News Issue 2 (2014) www.navy.sg

A flight deck marshaller guides the naval helicopter as it takes off for a morning surveillance flight to investigate vessels in the vicinity.

With stakes this high and pirates with little to lose, attacks can be swift and vicious.

gathered during daily surveillance flights of the Sikorsky S-70B Seahawk naval helicopter.

Standing guard

When operations officer CPT Eric Goh heard the call from MV Zim China over the international Maritime Mobile Service, he knew the threat was unlikely.

The men and women aboard RSS TENACIOUS understand this only too well.

Challenger-class Submarines operate beneath the waves, moving and striking targets without revealing their location. The 51 metre-long modernised versions of Swedish Sjöormen-Class submarines operate with a lean crew of 28, and have air conditioning, marine growth protection systems and corrosion-resistant piping to help them operate in the warm tropical waters around Singapore.

singaporenavy singaporenavy

Every day, they man the bridge and combat information centre to compile a maritime picture of vessels in the vicinity.

This was because RSS TENACIOUS had already passed the dhow in transit, and the naval helicopter had inspected it during the evening surveillance flight.

They must discern, among the plethora of vessels, which ones are potential threats and which are benign.

RSS TENACIOUS was therefore able to advise MV ZIM CHINA to proceed.

Skiffs carrying piracy tools or dhows towing skiffs may be investigated, and the air detachment augments this picture with information

“There are parts of the world that are not as safe as the areas we usually operate in, and it is good to be able to render assistance where we can,” said CPT Tong Hui Hao, a naval helicopter pilot.

Navy News Issue 2 (2014) www.navy.sg 23



50% Of North East Asia’s crude oil and trade passes through the GoA each year

3400NM That’s the distance between Singapore and the GoA – equivalent to 6296km

11% Air force engineers must hose down the naval helicopter every six hours to prevent corrosion from the sea spray. They also conduct maintenance such as topping up of engine and transmission oils.

“This deployment requires prolonged persistence”, says CPT Eric Goh (extreme left), one of the operations officers on RSS TENACIOUS. “We may not see action every day, but when action is upon us, we’ll be ready to respond.”

Shipping highway MV Zim China is just one of over 20,000 vessels that pass through the Gulf of Aden every year. The gulf, which runs between the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, is part of a major international shipping route from the Middle East to Asia. 20% of Singapore’s trade flows through the Gulf of Aden each year. In recent years, piracy has fallen in the gulf.


To guard against pirate attacks, most vessels travel along the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC), a duallane sea highway that ships are encouraged to transit.

Weapons Specialist CFC Nathaniel Loy greases the 0.5” CIS guns to prevent rust from forming due to sea spray. The 21-year-old , who volunteered for the deployment, is one of the youngest crew members on board.

It takes approximately three days for a merchant ship to traverse the IRTC. Multinational counter piracy forces patrol this stretch – Combined Task Force 151, under which RSS TENACIOUS operates, is one of them.

The International Chamber of Commerce International Maritime Bureau reported 15 incidents in 2013, down from 237 in 2011.

The presence of these naval warships reassures the merchant vessels.

These statistics favour merchant vessels, but no one wants to be the exception.

When MV Hanjin Gothenberg encountered engine failure about six nautical miles (11km) from

RSS TENACIOUS, the latter kept watch on it for four hours while they rectified the defect. “MV Hanjin Gothenberg was worried about a dhow towing three skiffs behind her. We positioned ourselves between her and the dhow, keeping watch for any suspicious movements,” said assistant operations officer CPT Ho Chuan, who was the Officer-ofthe-Watch.

Keeping watch over a merchant vessel sounds straightforward enough, but the crew cannot let their attention waver. Bridge lookout ME1 A Rajee keeps an eye on the horizon with her binoculars, while Weapons System Supervisor ME2 Sim Ti Kai monitors the dhows from the electro optic sensor mounted atop the typhoon gun.

He calls it ‘part of [his] job’, but accedes it is a tiring one. But when MV Hanjin Gothenberg pipes a grateful thank you - ‘Coalition warship, we want to let you know we are done with our repair work.. we deeply appreciate your assistance,’ before heading on her way, ME2 Sim is just as relieved.

Of the world’s petroleum shipment passes through the GoA each year

491 NM Length of the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC). The IRTC is a dual-lane shipping highway that runs off the coast of Yemen, which merchant vessels are encouraged to transit.

“When I watch MV Hanjin Gothenberg carry on with her journey, I’m pleased because I have helped, to the extent that I can,” he said. In this way RSS TENACIOUS continues its patrol. One more dawn, one more day, one more merchant vessel sailing safe along the Gulf of Aden.


photo story

photo story

Navy on the waterfront

Story by Clara Lock Photos by CFC (NS) Lai Jun Wei and Navy News

Landing ship tank RSS PERSISTENCE docks at VivoCity in the third instalment of Navy@ Vivo. These are the men and women who put it all together.

Navy@Vivo, which ran from 29 May to 1 June, played host to over 43,700 people at VivoCity. Landing Ship Tank RSS PERSISTENCE opened its doors to the public, offering ship tours and rides on the Fast Crafts Utility (FCUs). 26


photo story

photo story






ME1 Terence Tay (left) and ME1 Nicholas Chia prepare to lower the RSN ensign on the flight deck during the sunset ceremony. Since April, members of the ceremonial sunset party spent three hours every day rehearsing for it. ME1 Tay said: “I’ve done marching and drills before, but never in front of such a huge crowd. I’m glad the ceremony went smoothly!”


Every evening at 7pm, the ceremonial sunset party march out for the sunset ceremony in their No.1 uniform, where they lower the RSN ensign.

4 3 Commanding Officer of 191 Squadron, COL Thng Chee Meng, adjusts a life jacket for a student from the Singapore School for the Deaf (SSD). SSD students got a chance to sail with RSS PERSISTENCE during its three-hour transit from Changi Naval Base to VivoCity.

4 LCP Iqmal Faiz, a gunner, demonstrates how to operate the 0.5” CIS gun mounted on the port bridge wing.

He said: “It is really cool for the visitors to get a chance to handle the 0.5” CIS gun. It is not easy for most of them when they tried to pull the charging handle, but one grandma did it with ease, and that was really awesome to see.”


photo story

photo story

5 5 CPT Dean Wong, who was an

ambassador on board the FCU rides, said: “Members of the public rarely get a chance to observe the different things that we do in the Navy, and it’s my privilege to share this with them.”

6 7



Esther Ong helped visitors to the shore exhibition apply temporary tattoos that depict various navy personnel. Besides the tattoos, visitors also got to take polaroid photos with naval divers and personnel in the No.1 uniform.

7 Every time the rain stopped,

Navy personnel would dry the flight deck to ensure safety for visitors.


8 Members of the Singapore Women’s Auxillary Naval Service were

invited to a preview reception of Navy@Vivo on 28 May. The women were part of the Singapore division of the Malayan Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve back in the 1950s and 60s. Mdm Mary Choo (foreground, holding a thumbs up), said: “I felt really happy when I came on board today. The Navy has transformed so much and coming back on board ship again, I am already very happy.”




Leave no man behind   Story and photo by Graeme Ching

RSN personnel get a leg up for the future through the Continuing Education and Training (CET) certificate and diploma programme. 


uring his secondary school days, ME1 Kenrick Per spent more time in hotel banquet halls than in the classroom. Working the tables as a banquet captain, he pocketed six dollars an hour, but the long hours affected ME1 Per’s grades.

Forces (SAF) for personnel who want to apply for diploma studies, but lack the academic qualifications to do so.

At 18, he sat for the ‘O’ levels as a private candidate at the Young Men’s Christian Association but did poorly, before turning to the Singapore Hotel and Tourism Education Centre (SHATEC), where another poor showing meant he graduated shy of a diploma in culinary skills.

ME1 Per, together with his counterpart ME2 Lim Boon Hua, are two of 11 RSN personnel who went on to enrol in a CET diploma after completing the bridging programme.

“I regret playing too much during my younger days,” said ME1 Per ruefully.

It broadened my thought processes and made me more of a thinker rather than just a do-er.

Fresh start Today he has a new shot at an education. In April 2013, ME1 Per underwent a six-month bridging programme that qualified him to apply for a Diploma in Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Republic Polytechnic. The bridging programme is a tie-up between the Ministry of Education (MOE) and the Singapore Armed 32

Modules include Communicative English, Engineering Science and Engineering Mathematics.

– ME1 Kenrick Per

ME1 Per underwent a six-month bridging programme that qualified him to apply for a diploma in Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Lifelong learning The CET diplomas, which are offered by both Nanyang and Republic Polytechnic, are parttime courses targeted at working professionals. Both submariners, who are currently working towards their diplomas, agreed that the classes enhance their working knowledge and allow them to better perform in their vocations. Due to the small crew size of submarines – each boat is manned by just 28 men – all personnel on board are required to have

a basic understanding of how the boat operates, beyond their specialisation. This is so they can perform alternate duties, standing in for their shipmates if the situations call for it. For ME1 Per, the courses accorded him a better understanding of the systems aboard RSS CHIEFTAIN. For instance, the underwater systems expert can better appreciate the differences between diesel engines and generators, which he picked up from his modules.

“I need to know how to operate the engines in case emergencies happen, and these courses help me contribute more effectively,” said the 28-year-old. “It broadened my thought processes and made me more of a thinker rather than just a do-er,” he added. COL Gerald Heng, Commander Maritime Training and Doctrine Command, said: “The CET diplomas provide another avenue for our people to attain higher academic qualifications as part of our efforts to develop our people and help meet their aspirations.

This initiative is a testament to the high standards of training provided by the RSN and SAF as our people’s prior work knowledge and experiences are recognised towards the completion of the diploma.” ME1 Per, who used to be a chef before he transferred to his present vocation, said: “When I was a chef and we got called to help out at the action stations.. it inspires me to help fight the war and want to contribute more.” Now, his education will help him do so.



DOG WATCH Those who can, teach

It was what I had set out to do, and it was one of the dreams I had fulfilled since I was a boy. – ME3 Cyril Alvar

Play it beautifully Story and photo by Graeme Ching  

The World Cup is back this summer - aspiring players can hone their skills with these tips from ex-RSN coach ME3 Cyril Alvar. 

Footloose and fancy free  Train up your agility by dribbling a ball in and out of a staggered row of cones. Once you master the technique, try upping your speed while maintaining control of the ball.  

Up against the wall  Lacking a soccer buddy? Practise against a wall by passing, heading, volleying or throwing the ball at the wall. This will help train up your response time to various situations on the pitch. To up the difficulty level, try aiming for different points on the wall to alter the speeds and angles that the ball will come at you.  


to town with those free kicks. Reduce the distance between the poles for an added challenge.  

Eat clean, train mean A clean diet helps build muscles, and can also give you a boost of endurance during the 90-minute game. Reduce sugar, salt and excess fats in your diet and load up on complex carbohydrates, greens and protein for muscle growth and recovery.

Road to recovery  

Going for goal 

Your muscles take a beating during the full duration of a football game. To speed up the recovery process, immerse your legs (or your whole body) into a 12-15 degree ice bath for two to five minutes.

Makeshift goals are easy to demarcate - all you need are two poles approximately seven metres apart, and you can go

This will cool your muscles down and stop lactic acid build up, which can reduce muscle aches the next day.

When ME3 Cyril Alvar first started playing football with the RSN team in the 1980s, his teammates had no visions of winning any silverware. “They played recreationally, as a hobby sport,” said ME3 Alvar, who was then the Regimental Sergeant Major of the Institute of Marine Systems. He decided to step up and began coaching the team, but it was no mean feat. Some players did not even know how to kick a ball properly, while operational duties made it difficult for players to adhere to a training schedule. But ME3 Alvar set his standards high. This meant putting safety first - he enforced the proper attire of soccer boots and shin pads for players, and those who failed to comply were not allowed on the pitch. When the RSN team trained, it was against the best – ME3 Alvar organised friendly matches against teams in the Singapore League such as Woodlands Wellington and Sembawang Rangers. His efforts paid off in the 2000 Singapore Armed Forces Sports Association Games. The RSN team, playing with only nine men, fended off their opponents in the semi-finals match against the Army Logistics Team. He said: “It was what I had set out to do, and it was one of the dreams I had fulfilled since I was a boy.”


Port Brief

Port Brief

Pangkor What? Story by Leon Lam

Rock on

The RSN and the Royal Malaysian Navy commemorated the 30th anniversary of Exercise Malapura earlier this year, where our ships docked at Lumut - the gateway to Pulau Pangkor’s nature and culture.


ulau Pangkor, meaning beautiful island, is a scenic getaway. Located off the coast of Perak in north-west Malaysia, it features pristine beaches, tropical rainforests, sightseeing attractions and diverse water sports.

Batu Bersurat, also known as Tiger Rock, looks like a typical granite boulder from afar. Closer inspection reveals carved etchings that look like a child being attacked by a tiger. According to the locals, it was engraved by the Dutch in remembrance of a Dutch dignitary’s son taken by a tiger on the island in 1743.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Give a man a fish Observe traditional boat-building techniques in fishing village Sungai Pinang Besar, where craftsmen transform piles of wooden planks into fishing boats. Catch from the sea is flavoured and dried, and visitors can sample and buy ikan bilis, cuttlefish and even sea cucumber.

Photo courtesy of alwaystravelicious.com

Photo courtesy of alwaystravelicious.com

Photo courtesy of Thegirloutdoors

Avid snorkelers should head to the beaches of Nipah and Coral, both situated in Nipah Bay on the westnorthern coast. Surrounded by corals, fish and sea cucumbers, the waters are a good snorkelling spot. The pièce de résistance is having a night swim surrounded by blue glowing plankton.

It’s a jungle out there Wildlife lovers can head for the rainforests of Pulau Pangkor, which contain a large variety of wildlife such as hornbills, monkeys, monitor lizards and snakes. Wander off the beaten path and trek through the island’s Northern Rainforest Reserve, which has no marked trail. For a more sedate experience, try the Central Rainforest Reserve Trail or the Southern Rainforest Reserve Trail. Beautiful waterfalls and pools are the highlight of the Central Trail, which also leads trekkers to Pangkor Hill and Tortoise Hill. The Southern Trail, which is shorter, ends on the shores of the beautiful Segadas Beach, where you can round up the day with water sports like snorkelling and kayaking. Catch a glimpse of Malaysia’s national bird at the Sunset View Chalets at Nipah Bay. Hornbills swoop low to catch fruit in mid-air during daily evening feedings, and the birds are so used to humans they will even eat fruit out of your hands. 36

Photo courtesy of http://thecherylblog.wordpress.com/

Photo courtesy of Thegirloutdoors




Call me maybe

Bend over backwards

Story by Hans Lim

Now that both Changi and Tuas Naval Bases have established smartphonefriendly green zones, there’s no time like the present for an upgrade. Take your pick from six latest models.

Five for fighting


Looking for a smartphone with great graphics and speed? The iPhone 5S will not disappoint. With the integration of the new first ever 64-bit processor A7 Chip into the iPhone 5S, it is touted to perform three times faster than its predecessor. The larger screen and four-inch retina display with a 1136 by 640 resolution is also ideal for watching videos and movies.

Made one too many textual faux pas with Apple’s autocorrect? Give the Blackberry Q10 a go instead, with a physical keyboard designed for comfort and accuracy while typing. The Q10 also comes equipped with Blackberry’s Instant Action, an intuitive systems that lets users execute tasks by typing shortcuts from the home screen. To send an email, simply type ‘email’ followed by the name of the contact you want to reach.

Candy colours

If you like your phones like your women – curvy – the LG G Flex is for you. The curved screen minimises the glare from reflections, especially under harsh sunlight, for more comfortable viewing. Real RGB HD technology keeps images clear and sharp, and the G Flex also features a self-healing coating technology that repels scratches from daily use so the curved screen will be safe in your back pocket.

The iPhone 5C comes in a range of colours, and users are sure to find one that suits their fancy. Although it has a lower processing speed than the iPhone 5S, the iPhone 5C offers the same graphic performance and has the same storage size.

Personal assistant

One for the road Shutterbugs will delight in the Nokia Lumia 1020, which shoots in 41 megapixels, the first of its kind in a smartphone. Slap on a filter with the Glam Me Lens, and then share it with the Lumia’s photo organisation system called Storyteller, which places photos on a map for interactive sharing.

For those who store their lives in their smart phones, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 does it all. This 1920 by 1080 resolution beast features a Snapdragon 800 quad core processor, which allows users to handle heavy multi-tasking among multiple applications. The Note 3 comes with an S pen, or stylus, so if all that typing is wearing you out, you can scribble down those thoughts into a virtual post-it.

Photos courtesy of the verge, Patti Mckague and NDTV 38



News He Can Use Story and photos by Leon Lam

Leon Lam delves into the heart and home of an RSN fan.


hen I walk through the door of MAJ (NS) Chan Chun Hou’s three room HDB flat, what strikes me is the sheer number of boxes. They fill drawers and shelves, standing in multi-coloured floor-to-ceiling stacks. The boxes house his collection of navy paraphernalia – documentaries, posters, navalthemed card and board games, and a collection of ‘Navy News’ magazines that dates back to its inception. “That’s the very first issue of Navy News,” MAJ (NS) Chan says. “I’ve collected every single one.” MAJ (NS) Chan, whose first job was a Naval Shipwright Artificer with the RSN at the age of 20, has always been interested in the military. He says: “I have always been fascinated by military technology. The RSN allowed me to live out my childhood dreams of becoming an officer and working on warships, and my first four years in the Navy were probably the most memorable of my working life.” He has since completed his operationally ready National Service obligations, but still serves as a Reservist on Voluntary Extended Reserve Scheme. 40

Last year, MAJ (NS) Chan worked with the Naval Logistics Command (NALCOM), conducting structural analysis and compiling past data to aid NALCOM in its operation. The 57-year-old says that Navy News allows him to keep abreast of the RSN’s technological developments over the years. It also brings back fond memories of his time in service.

He says: “Whenever I pick up a copy of the Navy News magazine, I am able to look back and recall the time I spent in the RSN. It heartens me to see ex-colleagues appearing in the magazine, as I can see how they’re doing now.”

The Dolphin Jump Photo by Graeme Ching


Daniel Chan leaps off the hydroplane of submarine RSS CHIEFTAIN in a dolphin jump ceremony, a culmination of the year-long course that all submariners undergo.

The ceremony is steeped in tradition – newly-minted submariners profess their commitment to the fraternity before the jump, which symbolises their willingness to plunge into the depths with their brethren. They then scrub the side of the submarine, a reminder that the boat is now their second home. Three other submariners also earned their dolphin badges that day, which their Commanding Officers pinned on to their chests before the rest of the submariner community.

Get Navy News online! Drop us an email at navynews@defence.gov.sg and we’ll send you a copy absolutely free. 41

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Navy news issue 2 2014 lowres (1)  

Navy news issue 2 2014 lowres (1)