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Singapore Navy

g n i r Sha n o i s s a P Our 2013 House n e p O Nav y ction A e h t Living Of The e Men h T e drons m aval Ho Defence Squa N r u O f Base ians’ o ‘Guard Ships s Best ’ N S R - The Créme a l e d éme The Cr

Navy News Advisor

Issue Brief 02



CNV Foreword




Where We’ve Been


Onwards and Upwards • Total Defence Day • Living the Action • Making Waves • Forging Ties • Guarding the Gulf of Aden • Who’s Driving This Thing?


Now Hear This! • “Guardians” of Our Naval Home • RSN Best Ships

Teo Chee Sern


Postcards: Navy@Vivo



Know Your NAVWOC Member: • ME5 Nirmal Singh Dhillon


Know Your Navy Family: • ME5 Niow Choon Hock


Photo Story: • Countdown to Show Time


Dog Watch: • Swimming


Port Brief: • Nanjing


Free Gangway: • Storm In A (Bubble) Teacup


Back Paddle: • Blast From the Past


Liberty: Navy Speak • Blind Man’s Walk

RADM Jackson Chia


Terence Ho Chew Chun Liang

Deputy Editor Serena Lim Clara Lock

Editorial Coordinator Neo Quee Chye

Photojournalist Aloysius Chan Avinash Verma Clement Tan Leon Lam


Conrad Fung Gary Ow Jessica Teo Leong Chee Wah Lim Chee Hong Nagara Norris Lucius Charles Paul Teo Sara Shamini

COVER PAGE Photo by Navy News

BACK PAGE Photo by Teo Chee Sern

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. Articles of interest are invited from readers, who may send them to NAVY NEWS, Naval Operations Department, HQ RSN, 303 Gombak Drive, #03-22, Singapore 669645. For enquiries and comments, please call 6768 3367 or email us at or Navy News, NIC, NOD (OA email).

1915H Our majestic ships basking in the warm glow of the setting sun as the Navy Open House draws to a close.

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I watched with great pride as our sailors and divers trooped out on our nation’s 48th birthday. Over the years since independence, the RSN has played a critical role in the defence of our nation. As our operating environment evolves, the RSN must continue to adapt and transform in order to stay relevant and be of value to Singapore.

RADM Ng Chee Peng Chief of Navy

Recently, our Training Command was transformed into the Maritime Training and Doctrine Command (MTDC) so that we can continue to build deep domain expertise in our people, and train and develop them to undertake a widened spectrum of operations in the increasingly complex maritime environment of today. Even as we induct new capabilities and upgrade our fighting systems, our sailors have to be able to operate these systems, which are multi-mission and integrated in nature. With MTDC cementing itself as the cornerstone of the navy’s training ecosystem, we will continue to nurture people with the right skills, values and resilience to effectively carry out our missions. I am confident that the RSN will continue to punch above its weight. With the right people and the right training system in place, the RSN is poised to make valued contributions to advancing Singapore’s national interest. Our SAF Command Team headed by COL Giam Hock Koon completed yet another successful counter-piracy deployment in the Gulf of Aden in command of the Combined Task Force (CTF) 151. There were no successful piracy attacks during our watch. The 47 men and women in the team were recognised for their contribution at a recent Overseas Service Medal Presentation Ceremony. In addition, the RSN continues to sharpen our warfighting capabilities. We operationalised and commissioned our second Archer-class submarine RSS Swordsman in April, and our F-50 Maritime Patrol Aircraft successfully fired a harpoon missile which hit its surface target during CARAT 2013. The RSN draws its strength from our people, and also from the support of their family, friends, and the Singapore public. It is important that we reach out to our fellow Singaporeans to help them better understand our roles and our work. Over the past months, we participated in the Total Defence exhibition at the Republic Polytechnic, brought our frigate to VivoCity and organised the Navy Open House at Changi Naval Base. It was heartening to see the excitement of the public when they visited our warships and experienced what it is like to be a sailor. These positive experiences were only made possible through the hard work and commitment of everyone in the RSN. It was a job well done, especially in May, when we were also managing the series of events and exercises held in conjunction with the International Maritime Defence Exhibition (IMDEX) Asia and the International Maritime Security Conference (IMSC). We received overwhelming response from the public during the Navy Open House, including many positive feedback and compliments. Besides these outreach programmes, our recently set-up Navy facebook page ( will be a new platform for us to share our Navy stories. I encourage everyone to Like, Comment and Share these stories with your family and friends on facebook. The RSN will continue with our outreach efforts to engage the public and build stakeholders’ support. I look forward to your support for future events, as our people are, ultimately, our best ambassadors. Together, let us carry our Navy story to the public – this is a story we can all be proud of.

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68th Midshipman commissioning parade 55 Midshipmen from the 68th Midshipman Course were commissioned by President Dr Tony Tan at the SAF Training Institute – Military Institute on 15 Jan. MID Toh Jing Yong was awarded the Sword of Honour.

RSN Finance Seminar 2013 Naval Personnel Department and FLEET Manpower Branch organised the RSN Finance Seminar 2013 for 150 personnel on 16 Jan at Changi Naval Base Auditorium. Participants were given tips to manage their finances and were updated on the SAVER-PREMIUM Choice programme.

Biennial paracounsellors Appreciation event On 15 Jan, 12 paracounsellors from the RSN received awards recognising their service from then-Senior Parliamentary Secretary (Defence) Dr Maliki Bin Osman at the Biennial Paracounsellors Appreciation Event held at The Chevrons. ME3 Ching Yeow Song received the Distinguished Service Award for the zeal he displayed as a paracounsellor to inmates in the detention barracks.

Master chief/Sergeant Major Basic Diving course The inaugural Master Chief / Sergeant Major Basic Diving Course was conducted at the Naval Diving Unit’s Dive School from 14 to 18 Jan. 20 master chiefs and sergeant majors from the three services attended the course.

HQ RSN inter-Department Volleyball championship Personnel from the various HQ RSN departments were pitted against each other at the HQ RSN InterDepartment Volleyball Championship, held at Siloso Beach on 30 Jan. The team from Naval Operations Department (NOD) took first place with a comfortable lead and were crowned overall champions.

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RSN Mental Wellness Seminar On 31 Jan, 200 members of the RSN attended the RSN Mental Wellness Seminar, held at the Changi Naval Base Auditorium. Participants learned new methods to approach and overcome their health and fitness challenges through talks by speakers from Personnel Service Centre, SAF Counselling Centre, and the Health Promotion Board.

18th command preparation course The 18th Command Preparation Course was held at the Naval Officers’ Advanced School from 16 Jan to 1 Feb. The programme, attended by eight naval officers and three senior military experts, was part of the Command Effectiveness Programme that prepares prospective commanding officers to take their first command.

44th command and Staff course and 2nd command and Staff course (executive) combined Opening ceremony The opening ceremony for the 44th Command and Staff Course (CSC) and the 2nd CSC (Executive) was held on 1 Feb 13 at SAF Training Institute – Military Institute. A total of 214 naval officers and officers from the Air Force and the Army are attending the courses.

Total Defence Day 2013 Personnel from the RSN joined the Total Defence Day Commemoration Event held at Republic Polytechnic on 15 Feb by holding an exhibition of the RSN’s capabilities and equipment.

Operation Blue Sapphire (command) Sending Off ceremony. Then-Chief of Defence Force LG Neo Kian Hong presented the 49 members with the Singapore insignia of the Operation Blue Sapphire (Command) team in a send-off ceremony held at Ministry of Defence Auditorium on 14 Feb.

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NOD icare Day Personnel from the NOD visited Gardens by the Bay on 1 Mar. A mini-photography competition was conducted as part of the cohesion event.

Force Readiness Squadron at ALTi innovation and Safety Day Personnel from Force Readiness Squadron were invited to share their productivity journey as well as their secrets to bagging the Minister for Defence Award 2012 and MINDEF Innovation Award 2012 at the Army Logistics Training Institute Innovation and Safety Day on 6 Mar.

Navy @ Vivo Over 10,000 visitors visited Navy@Vivo, which comprised a tour on board RSS INTREPID, berthed at VivoCity Promenade, and an exhibition in VivoCity from 15 to 17 Mar.

28th Tri-Service War Fighter course 12 naval officers graduated from the 28th Tri-Service War Fighter Course, conducted at the SAF Advanced School from 25 Feb to 22 Mar. MAJ Ting Teck Beng emerged as one of the Distinguished Graduate. In addition, the Maritime Training and Doctrine Command’s Master Chief ME5 Nagara was the first Master Chief to attend the course.

NLD icare Day For their iCare day, personnel of the Naval Logistics Department gathered to recount and reflect upon their achievements in the past work year on 28 Mar.

NLO cohesion Day On 22 Mar, members of Naval Logistics Organisation (NLO) did a spot of dragon boating at the Kallang Basin. Participants also took part in a series of team building games – on shore and in the waters – to enhance unit cohesion.

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BMT Batch passing Out parade 39 recruits from 04/12 Basic Military Training (BMT) cohort passed out on 13 Apr in a parade held at the Maritime Training and Doctrine Command Parade Square. REC Joel Lee emerged as Best Trainee.

inaugural MiNDeF engineering Foundation course Two naval personnel were initiated into the Engineering Foundation Programme conducted at Republic Polytechnic on 16 Apr. Another 10 naval personnel joined their SAF counterparts in a similar ceremony at Nanyang Polytechnic on 17 Apr. They are attending a bridging course for warrant officers, specialists and military experts, who are ‘O’-level holders or ITE graduates, to qualify for a diploma in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, or Mechatronics conducted by Republic Polytechnic and Nanyang Polytechnic respectively.

Signing of Revised Malacca Straits patrol Standard Operating procedure. Head Naval Operations, RADM Jackson Chia signed an amendment to the Malacca Straits Patrol Standard Operating Procedure with his counterparts from Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand on 18 Apr at the Marina Mandarin Hotel, formalising the conduct of regular exercises amongst other enhancements to tighten the collaboration between the partner navies.

Delta Wing visit to changi Naval Base 134 officer cadet trainees visited Changi Naval Base on 26 Apr to get a better understanding of the Navy’s assets and capabilities. During their visit, they visited RSS ENDURANCE and had a dialogue session with Navy officers.

RSS SWORDSMAN commissioning RSS SWORDSMAN, the last of the RSN’s Archer-class submarines, was commissioned by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam at Changi Naval Base on 30 Apr.

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Navy Day Members of the Navy family formed the words “I ♥ Navy” during the celebration of the RSN’s 46th Anniversary at the Maritime Training and Doctrine Command Parade Square on 3 May.

international Maritime Defence exhibition 2013 Opening ceremony and conference Asia 2013 Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen officiated at the opening ceremony for the International Maritime Defence Exhibition 2013 (IMDEX) at the Changi Exhibition Centre on 13 May. The event, which is the largest maritime defence system exhibition in Asia-Pacific, was held from 13 May to 16 May.

Minister for Defence Visit to Foreign Warships Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen and then-Senior Minister of State for Defence Mr Chan Chun Sing visited some of the foreign warships that took part in the IMDEX Warships Display in at Changi Naval Base on 13 May.

international Maritime Security conference The International Maritime Security Conference, held on 15 May, brought together some 350 participants, including navy and air force chiefs, coast guard directors-general and leading maritime academics to discuss threats to maritime security, develop safety frameworks and solutions to deal with the security challenges that threaten and disrupt sea lines of communication.

RSN – RAN Submarine Rescue MOu Signing Chief of Navy RADM Ng Chee Peng signed a Submarine Rescue Arrangement with his Royal Australian Navy counterpart, VADM Ray Giggs, on board MV SWIFT RESCUE on 15 May to establish a framework in the area of submarine rescue and support between the two navies.

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international Naval engineering conference The International Naval Engineering Conference was held at the Changi Exhibition Centre on 14-16 May, in conjunction with IMDEX Asia 2013. The conference, which was officiated by then-Permanent Secretary for Defence Development Mr Chan Yeng Kit on 16 May, focused on the importance of technology as a force multiplier in transforming naval capabilities to meet future challenges.

40th Naval Warfare Officers course 12 Naval Officers successfully completed the 19-week course and graduated as principal warfare officers on 2 May. Top students were CPT Hou Minzheng and CPT Pay Hong Rui. CPT Leonard Ho was the Distinguished Graduate.

Navy Open House 2013 Over 122,000 guests visited the Navy Open House 2013, held from 16 to 19 May at Changi Naval Base. Then-Senior Minister of State for Defence Mr Chan Chun Sing officiated at the opening ceremony on 18 May.

Launch of New Admiralty charts Two new admiralty maritime security charts covering the waters around India and Southeast Asia were jointly launched by RADM Harris Chan, Maritime Security Task Force Commander, LTC Nicholas Lim, Head Information Fusion Centre, LTC(Ret) Nicholas Teo, Deputy Director of Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) Information Sharing Centre and Mr Chris Perry from the UK Hydrographic Office.

RSN – iMDeX cocktail Chief of Navy RADM Ng Chee Peng hosted visiting foreign Chiefs of Navy and officials during the traditional RSN-IMDEX cocktail reception, held at Changi Naval Base on 15 May. RADM Ng also visited the cocktail receptions on board the foreign warships which participated in the IMDEX Warship Display.

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191 SQN change of command COL Richard Lim handed over command of 191 Squadron to COL Thng Chee Meng in a ceremony held on board RSS ENDURANCE on 22 May.

international Sea cadet exchange programme The Instititute of Maritime Operation and Systems hosted 23 officers and cadets from Australia, Hong Kong, India, New Zealand and the United Kingdom as part of the International Sea Cadet Exchange Programme from 26 May to 4 Jun.

6th Naval Advanced Officers’ course 16 naval officers graduated from the 6th Naval Advanced Officers’ Course on 28 May. CPT Koh Mao Jiang emerged as the Top Student, while the Distinguished Graduate Award was presented to CPT Tan Xin Hui.

4th Naval Warfare Specialisation course 23 military experts attended the 4th Naval Warfare Specialisation Course from 1 Apr to 29 May at the Naval Officers’ Advanced School. ME2 Kang Wee Keong, ME2 Louis Tan and ME3 Chia Min Wah emerged as top students for their specialisations, while ME3 Rosly Ng was the Distinguished Graduate.

RSN inter Group Badminton Tournament FLEET emerged as the champion for this year’s RSN Inter Group Badminton Tournament held on 28 May at Changi Naval Base Sports Complex. The combined team from HQ RSN/NDU came in second.

RSN Retirees’ Appreciation Dinner 27 retired veterans and their family of the RSN were honoured at an appreciation dinner held at The Jewel Box on 11 Jun. Chief of Navy RADM Ng Chee Peng presented tokens of appreciation to each of the retirees.

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SAF Learning Symposium 2013 The SAF Learning Symposium was conducted from 13 to 14 June at SAFTI MI. Three teams from the RSN won a silver and two bronze SAF Learning Innovation awards respectively for their projects.

civilian Officers’ promotion ceremony 10 Defence Executive Officers from the RSN were promoted at the 2013 Civilian Officers Promotion Ceremony held on 25 Jun at the MINDEF Auditorium.

SAF central Welfare Fund Merit and excellence Award presentation ceremony 151 children of RSN personnel received Merit and Excellence Bursary Awards from Chief of Navy RADM Ng Chee Peng at the SAF Central Welfare Fund Merit and Excellence Award Presentation Ceremony held at the Fleet Auditorium on 20 Jun.

SAF promotion ceremony 46 officers, 9 military experts and 3 warrant officers from the RSN were promoted in a ceremony held at the MINDEF auditorium on 27 Jun.

RSN promotion ceremony 273 naval personnel from the RSN were promoted at the RSN Promotion Ceremony held at Temasek Club on 27 Jun.

SAF Day Rededication ceremony at the Singapore Discovery centre Four SAF Day Rededication Ceremonies were held across the island on 1 Jul, where Operationally Ready National Servicemen reaffirmed their commitment to Singapore’s defence. The Maritime Security Task Force organised one of the ceremonies at the Singapore Discovery Centre.

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SAF Day parade Trainees from the Maritime Training and Doctrine Command and Naval Diving Unit participated in the SAF Day Parade held at SAFTI MI parade square on 1 Jul. At the parade, the Maritime Security Command was presented with their new colours by the President Dr Tony Tan, as the colours for the Coastal Command was retired.

Senior Military expert Appointment ceremony Held on 4 Jul at SAFTI MI, 15 RSN military experts were promoted to the rank of ME4 during the Senior Military Expert Appointment Ceremony. ME4 Kwok Kum Loong emerged as the Sword of Honour for the SAF cohort.

BMT 1/13 On 6 Jul, 70 recruits from the last Navy BMT course passed out at RSS Panglima. REC Ang Jin Kai was awarded the Company Best Recruit.

1st Flotilla change of command COL Cheong Kwok Chien took over command of 1st Flotilla from COL Giam Hock Koon in a ceremony at Changi Naval Base Auditorium on 8 Jul. He continues to concurrently hold command of 185 Squadron.

Maritime Training and Doctrine command inauguration Chief of Navy RADM Ng Chee Peng inaugurated the Maritime Training and Doctrine Command (MTDC) on 12 July at the Victory Hall in the Changi Naval Training Base. He also appointed the commanders of MTDC, Doctrine Readiness Group and Naval Military Experts Institute – groups under MTDC.

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Maritime Security Task Force change of command On 12 July, RADM Harris Chan handed over command of the Maritime Security Task Force to COL Giam Hock Koon in a ceremony held at the Tuas Naval Base auditorium.

presidential Garden Reception President Tony Tan hosted the Presidential Garden Reception at the Istana on 21 Jul. The annual reception recognises Regulars, FullTime and Operationally Ready Servicemen, MINDEF and defence partners on the contributions to the defence of Singapore.

69th Midshipman course 46 midshipmen were commissioned at the SAFTI MI’s parade square on 14 Jul. 2LT Ryan Cheng was awarded the Sword of Honour.

69th MiDS Acpc/6th MDec 1 Graduation ceremony 46 newly commissioned officers along with 13 ME4 Trainees who graduated from the 6th Military Domain Experts Course Phase 1 (MDEC 1) attended the Appointment Certificate Presentation Ceremony (ACPC) held at the Changi Mess on 23 Jul.

Operation Blue Sapphire (OBS) Overseas Medal presentation Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen presented the Overseas Service Medal to 47 personnel who participated in OBS in a ceremony on 5 Aug at the MINDEF auditorium. The awards were in recognition for their contribution to counter-piracy at the Gulf of Aden.

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National Day parade The National Day Parade was held at The Float@Marina Bay on 9 Aug. Members of the Naval Diving Unit put up the RSN’s Guard-ofHonour contingent and sea display, while trainees from the Maritime Training and Doctrine Command were part of the marching contingent.

SMS Award presentation Four personnel from the RSN received the highly coveted SAF Merit Scholarship (SMS) in a ceremony held at the Sheraton Towers. Minister for Defence, Dr Ng Eng Hen, presented the scholarship to 4 RSN recipients, who were joined by 17 other scholars from the Army and Air Force.

19th command preparation programme The graduation ceremony was held at Naval Officers’ Advanced School with Chief of Navy RADM Ng Chee Peng as the Guestof-Honour. The programme, attended by two Naval Officers and five Senior Military Experts, was part of the Command Effectiveness Programme that prepares prospective commanding officers for their first command. The programme ran from 24 Jul to 16 Aug.

RSN Long Service Award 104 Personnel who had served more than 20 years in the RSN were recognised with long service awards, in a ceremony held at Changi Naval Base Mess on 21 Aug. Chief of Navy RADM Ng Chee Peng presented the awards.

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MiNDeF pride Day On 5 Sep, the Force Readiness Squadron bagged top honours at MINDEF Pride Day for the second year running, taking home the overall Minister for Defence Award (MDA), as well the MDA award for innovation. 21 other RSN units and personnel also received awards.

RSN-VpN Submarine Rescue MOA Signing The RSN signed a memorandum of agreement regarding submarine rescue and support with the Vietnam People’s Navy on 6 Sep. Chief of Navy RADM Ng Chee Peng and Admiral Nguyen Van Hien inked the agreement aboard MV SWIFT RESCUE.



MSTD 01/13


56 trainees from the 8/12 Naval Junior Officer’s Course and the 2/12 Basic Specialisation Course participated in a navigation and watch-keeping training exercise from 21 Jan to 31 Jan on board MV AVATAR, codenamed Ex Polar Star. During their deployment, they visited Port Blair on 25 Jan.

RSS SUPREME, RSS VALIANT, and RSS INDEPENDENCE took part in Ex MALAPURA, which saw them conducting conventional naval warfare and maritime security exercises with three ships from the Royal Malaysian Navy from 25 Feb to 8 Mar.

Midshipmen from the 69th Midshipmen Course and the 6th Military Domain Expert Course Phase 1 called on Yangon, Myanmar, Danai, Vietnam, and Shanghai, China during their Midshipmen Sea Training Deployment on RSS ENDEAVOUR on 26 Feb to 9 Apr.

Command teams from RSS TENACIOUS and RSS VALOUR participated in tactical discussions and simulation exercises in naval warfare with the Royal Brunei Navy during Ex PELICAN held from 11 to 15 Mar.

16 Where We’ve Been





4th WMSX


RSS STEADFAST, with an embarked S-70B Sikorsky Naval Helicopter, RSS VALIANT, a maritime patrol aircraft, and a submarine took part in a bilateral exercise with the Indian Navy ships, INS SATPURA and INS KIRCH, in the South China Sea from 16 to 23 May, as part of the Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise (SIMBEX).

10 navies, including the RSN, participated in the the 4th Western Pacific Naval Symposium Multilateral Sea Exercise (WMSX), conducted from 13 to 18 May. The exercise, both ashore and at sea, comprised maritime security operations, including Sea Boarding, Maritime Surveillance Operations, Search and Rescue and Small Boat Investigations.

The 3rd Maritime Information Sharing Exercise (MARISX) was officiated by Chief of Defence Force, then-MG Ng Chee Meng at the Changi C2 Centre on 13 May, which saw the participation of 72 International Liaison Officers and 38 Operations Centres from 30 countries. Conducted from 13 to 18 May, the exercise validated linkages among participating operation centres and to practice the information-sharing processes among regional navies in maritime incidents such as hijacks and piracy.

9 lIMA 2013 RSS STEADFAST and an embarked Sikorsky S-70B Naval Helicopter took part in the maritime display at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA) 2013, which was held from 25 to 30 Mar.

10 IntERnAtIOnAl MInE COuntERMEASuRE EXERCISE 13 Seven personnel from 194 Squadron took part in the multinational International Mine Countermeasure Exercise (IMCMEX) held in Bahrain and the Arabian Gulf on 5 to 28 May. Besides taking part in the IMCMEX Symposium, a team also participated in underwater survey exercises.

11 AdMM-pluS hAdR/ MM EXERCISE RSS ENDURANCE took part in the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM)-Plus Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) and Military Medicine (MM) Exercise in Brunei on 6 to 25 Jun.

8 OpERAtIOn BluE SApphIRE (COMMAnd) RADM Giam Hock Koon took command of the Combined Task Force 151 from 7 Mar to 6 Jun with a command team, comprising both SAF and international naval officers from Australia, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates and the United States. The command team built on cooperation and collaboration with the European Union Naval Force, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation task force and other navies, such as the TNI AL and the Yemeni Navy, through exchanges and exercises.

12 JOInt MInEX 16/13 RSS BEDOK and RSS PUNGGOL, each with their organic dive teams, took part in the Joint MINEX with the Indonesian Navy in the Singapore Strait from 3 to 9 Jul.

To mark the end of an eventful day

Photos by ME2 Teo Chee Sern Navy News Issue 2 (2013)

Ceremonial Sunset

To mark the end of an eventful day

Photos by ME2 Teo Chee Sern Navy News Issue 2 (2013)

Ceremonial Sunset

19 Where We’ve Been


10 3a


Indian Ocean

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Courtesy Jan to May 2013 Courtesy Calls Calls on on CNV CNV from in …… Australia Vice Admiral Ray Griggs, AO, CSC, Chief of Navy, Royal Australian Navy Bangladesh Vice Admiral Zahir Uddin Ahmed, Chief of Naval Staff, Bangladesh Navy Brunei First Admiral Dato Seri Abdul Halim, Commander, Royal Brunei Navy Cambodia Vice Admiral Tea Vinh, Commander, Royal Cambodian Navy Djibouti Colonel Abdourahman Aden Cher, Commander, Djibouti Navy Greece Vice Admiral Evangelos Apostolakis, Chief of the Hellenic Navy General Staff, Hellenic Navy Indonesia Admiral (Dr) Marsetio, Chief of Naval Staff, TNI AL Japan Admiral Katsutoshi Kawano, Chief of Staff, Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force Kuwait Brigadier General Jassim Mohammed Al-Ansari, Commander, Kuwaiti Naval Forces

Malaysia Vice Admiral Dato’ Abdul Bin Abdul Rashid, Fleet Operation Commander, Royal Malaysian Navy

South Africa Vice Admiral J. Mudimu CLS, DMG, SM, MMS, MMM, MMD, Chief of Navy, South African Navy

New Zealand Rear Admiral Jack Steer, ONZM, Chief of Navy, Royal New Zealand Navy

Spain Admiral General Jaime Munoz-Delgado Diaz Del Rio, Chief of Naval Staff, Spanish Navy

People’s Republic of China Vice Admiral Jiang Wei Lie, Commander of South Sea Fleet, People’s Liberation Army (Navy) Oman Rear Admiral Abdullah Bin Khamis Bin Abdullah Al Raisi, Commander, Royal Navy of Oman

Sweden Rear Admiral Jan Thornqvist, Chief of Staff, Royal Swedish Navy Tonga Brigadier General Tauaika Uta’ Atu, Commander, Tongo Defence Services

Poland Vice Admiral Tomasz Mathea, Commander – in – Chief, Polish Navy

Uruguay Admiral Ricardo Giambruno, Commander In Chief, The National Navy of Uruguay

Pupua New Guinea Captain (Navy) Alois Ur Tom, Chief of Naval Staff, Papua New Guinea Defence Forces

United Kingdom Admiral Sir George Zambellas KCB DSC, First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff, Royal Navy

Qatar Staff Brigadier (Sea) Mohammad Naser Mubarak Al-Mohannadi, Commander, Qatar Emiri Naval Forces

United States Mr Robert C. Martinage, Deputy Under-Secretary of the Navy, United States Navy

Republic of Korea Admiral Choi Yoon-Hee, Chief of Naval Operations, Republic of Korea Navy

Admiral Jonathon W. Greenert, Chief of Naval Operations, United States Navy

20 Onwards and Upwards



Story & Photos by Avinash Verma

The RSN took part in the Total Defence Commemoration Event held at Republic Polytechnic on 15 Feb 13. They joined the other arms of the SAF, Singapore Police Force, Singapore Civil Defence

Force, and other government and private agencies in a display of the various pillars of Total Defence. One of the initiatives to commemorate Total Defence Day this year, the atmosphere at the commemoration event was festive as people of all ages, from schoolchildren to

working adults, tried their best to soak in all the information and visit as many booths as they could. Personnel from the Maritime Security Task Force took the lead in putting together a showcase of the RSN’s capabilities. From displays of missiles and torpedoes, equipment used by the Accompanying Sea Security

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Team and the naval divers, to the Unmanned Surface Vessel and the Fast Intercept Craft, it thrilled the visitors while they learnt more about the RSN. In the words of one of the organisers, MAJ Adrian Eng: “The visitors can see, feel and experience the exhibits.” One such booth was the Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB), which was a real crowd puller amongst the schoolchildren, who simply could not get enough of it and queued to wait for their turn to “try” the 0.5 Gun mounted onboard. Despite being too small to operate such a gun, they tried their best to manoeuvre the gun and pretend that they were firing it. Another highlight was the firing range set up by the RSN. Members of the public could try their hands at firing the AR-15 rifle and MP5 submachine gun at a bullseye target. Paintball pellets were used instead of live rounds, but this did not stop people from waiting up to 15 minutes just to use the range. The various showcases also sparked interest in several

people to join the RSN. “Seeing the various types of weaponry certainly makes me keener about the navy,” said Hitesh Parwani, a student from Singapore Polytechnic. Another visitor interested to find out more about the RSN was Mr Ong Wei Jin, a father of two. “My elder son is keen on signing on with the Navy and I hope that by coming here, he can make a more informed decision and clarify any doubts.” The main message for Total Defence was not to be forgotten. The pillars of Total Defence, including military defence, are important and have to work together to ensure a strong Singapore. “We have to continue in these efforts, every year, on Total Defence Day as well as other occasions, to bring our nation to stand together,” Minister of Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen

said in his address at the Total Defence Commemoration Event. “Despite the many demands of work and family, we must make time to strengthen the spirit of community and civicmindedness. Appropriately, this year, the Total Defence campaign aims to encourage this spontaneous reaction to stand together, ‘Will You Stand With Me?’.” This is a strong reminder to us, especially in the military, that we need to stand together to protect Singapore from all threats, be it against an attack from another country or another SARS epidemic.

1. Waiting for a chance to try the mounted gun on the Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat 2. Taking a shot on the modified AR-15 rifle 3. Finding out more about the 0.5mm gun found on board RSN ships 4. Interacting with RSN personnel up close 5. Donning the gear of the Accompanying Sea Security Team

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Living the ACTION - NOH 2013 Story by Leon Lam Photos by Navy News



go, go!” The Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat’s machine gun unleashed a thunderous fusillade, picking off enemies who failed to find cover. In a co-ordinated move, the Special Operations Task Force troopers swiftly scrambled up a boarding ladder and onto the deck of the hijacked vessel MV SWIFT RESCUE. Once aboard, they fanned out across the ship in search of the hostiles. Outside the bridge, hijackers were sighted and taken out one after another. The last surviving hijacker dropped his weapon and raised his hands in surrender, and was taken down in a lightning-fast close-combat manoeuvre.

At the spectator stands and along the various viewing areas along the piers and wharves of Changi Naval Base, hundreds of audience members let out a collective breath they didn’t realise they’d been holding. As they watched the show events unfold, they saw how the RSN operated – from maritime warfare at sea to countering the threat of terrorists.

“The ship is secured. Good work, team.”

As Second Minister for Defence Mr Chan Chun Sing said during the opening ceremony on the morning of 18 May : “We always forget about the Navy when we enjoy our daily lives. But whenever

That was just a snippet of the exciting Dynamic Display.

Attracting more than 122,000 visitors, the Navy Open House 2013 took place at Changi Naval Base from 16 to 19 May, with 16 and 17 May as special preview days open only to RSN personnel and their family and friends, other SAF units, schools and other organised groups.

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we walk around East Coast Parkway with our loved ones and our family, I am always reminded that beyond the nice beaches at East Coast Park, the Navy has always been at the forefront guarding our waters.” The Dynamic Sea Display, which gave the public a rare look at some of the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN)’s capabilities, including the base defence troopers, naval helicopters and even submarines in addition to the aforementioned ship-storming exercise, was just one of the many exciting experiences in store for visitors to the Open House. The scorching sun did nothing to stifle the enthusiasm of our visitors. Many were still excited to tour the decks of the warships on display, go on a cruise aboard the small craft and ships, and even try their hands at taking down the enemy at the

weapon simulator. Queues snaked throughout the base as visitors patiently waited for their turn. One undaunted visitor was Ms Lim Shi Min, a student and aspiring naval officer. She said: “The wait was long but the visit more than made up for it! I’m really happy that I got to see all the advanced technology on board, and the sailors are professional but friendly. I hope to be a part of all this in the future!” While many visitors were simply content to visit and go with the flow, some took the extra step and planned their ‘attack’ meticulously so that they could see and experience everything on offer. Some even used the special app created for the event on the RSN’s Facebook page to plan their itinerary.

24 Onwards and Upwards




Besides the Dynamic Display, visits and rides to the warships were also crowd favourites. Two submarines, including the new Archer-class, were also docked by the pier to provide a rare close up photo opportunity for enthusiasts. Warships from Australia, India, Indonesia, Thailand, and the United States, who were in Singapore for IMDEX 2013, supported the big event by welcoming NOH visitors on board as well. Countless visitors seized this rare opportunity to go aboard and satisfy their curiosity. Apart from the ships, the themed tents built throughout the fairground were also very popular. Besides providing some welcome respite from the heat, they also gave visitors the chance to have a more in-depth understanding of what life is like on board a ship. Judging from the length of the queues, the Experience Zone was probably the most popular. Inside, visitors got the opportunity to fire any of the small arms used in the RSN, from the SAR21 assault rifle to the General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) and the Glock 9mm pistol. Less firearm-inclined members of the public could take on the challenge of knot-tying, throwing lines or ropes, patching a “hole” in a ship’s hull or even trying their hand at surgery in a mock-up of a ship’s



operating theatre. The inside of a submarine was also re-created to offer the public a chance to crawl through and see the accommodations and controls. The Mission Zone was also another hot favourite, with all sorts of naval hardware on display. Missiles, unmanned systems, and the model of the future Littoral Mission Vessel (LMV) were fodder for eager shutterbugs. The Mission Zone also had displays of the missions, overseas operations, and foreign interactions that the RSN had conducted over the years. Many visitors were also eager to try on the gear used by the brave men of the RSN’s Accompanying Sea Security Teams (ASSeT). Wearing a bullet-resistant vest and toting a MP5 sub-machine gun, Lim Xinyao, 7 cut an adorable figure. Posing for a photo next to an RSN ambassador, she squealed: “The uniform and gun are so cool!” Over at the Heart Zone, visitors could get even closer with RSN personnel. Personal stories about their time in the Navy and their experiences at sea were shared with the public to show what life is about in the RSN. At the same time, numerous fun events and giveaways were taking place. Goodies like badges, pins, bags and water bottles from the recruitment centres


25 Onwards and Upwards



flew off the shelves. Visitors all over the exhibition area could be seen gleefully clutching their loot, prompting others to ask: “Where’d you get that?” In addition, contests like the Instagram Photo Contest and the Outfit of the Day rewarded visitors who took good photos of the Open House or took the effort to dress up in a nautical theme respectively. The Navy Open House was an enjoyable and educational experience for members of the public, as Mr Lee Si Jun attested. “My favorite part was visiting the Formidable class frigates. It was an eye-opener to learn that a Seahawk helicopter complements the ship and there is sufficient space on the deck to fit such a large helicopter! I felt that the corridors and staircase linking one compartment to another were rather low and narrow, which makes me wonder how the sailors on board still manage to maneuver in the ship. It made me realize that life at sea is not simple and this makes me look up to the sailors.” The smiles on the faces of the visitors to Navy Open House would not have been possible without the tireless effort of countless RSN personnel. ME2 Leslie Goh, an RSN ambassador stationed at the engineering exhibit in the Heart Zone, said: “I am very honoured to be given the opportunity



to represent the RSN and explain what I do in the Navy. I brought my family (to the Open House) and they can now better understand how I am contributing to the defence of our nation.” MSG (NS) Andy Chin, an ambassador at the Damage Control exhibit in the Experience Zone, agreed. He said: “This is the second time I am helping out in the Open House. I turn 40 this year so this will be the last time I return for ICT. It feels good to help out and interact with the public and help them understand the navy better. I will especially cherish this NOH.” Thanks to all the RSN personnel for your hard work, and we hope everyone enjoyed the Navy Open House 2013! 1. Then-Senior Minister of State for Defence Mr Chan Chun Sing firing the Typhoon gun at the opening ceremony 2. A visitor fires off a Squad Automatic Weapon in the Experience Zone 3. An RSN ambassador presents the Expendable Mine Disposal System in the Mission Zone 4. A young visitor aims the machine gun 5. Special Operations Task Force Troopers storm MV Swift Rescue during the Dynamic Sea Display 6. Visitors taking a ride on the Fast Craft Utility 7. A visitor puts on his life jacket with a little help 8. Ms Lim Shi Min with her friend at NOH 2013 9. Visitors excitedly touring our ships on display 10. Visitors posing with naval divers after the Dynamic Sea Display 11. Members of the public wait eagerly for the Dynamic Sea Display


26 26 Onwardsand andUpwards Upwards Onwards

Making Waves:

NAVY@VIVO Story by Leon Lam Photos by Navy News


27 27 Onwards Onwards and and Upwards Upwards





VivoCity sees countless visitors every day, and the typical shopper would easily blend into the crowd. On 15 Mar, however, one particular visitor stood out from the rest. Docked at VivoCity Promenade for Navy@ Vivo, RSS INTREPID loomed over the shapping mall and created a presence never felt before.

be part of our big family.”

Having recently returned from its participation in the counterpiracy efforts of the Combined Task Force 151 (CTF 151) in the Gulf of Aden, the 114-metre Formidable-class frigate showed off its advanced technology to members of the public from 15 to 17 Mar.

Chief of Navy RADM Ng Chee Peng opened the event with the ringing of a ceremonial ship bell, and the first wave of visitors trooped on board the ship.

ME2 Ebenezer Moses, a Weapon Systems Supervisor from RSS INTREPID, commented: “We’ve never been so close to the public before, here at VivoCity. I hope we pique their interest so that more people are inspired to come and

Over the three-day period, RSS INTERPID generated a wave of excitement at VivoCity. From the overwhelming response to the early-bird ballots to the long queues in the early morning of Saturday and Sunday, the public waited in anticipation for their chance to explore the frigate.

One of the first to do so were students from Naval Base Secondary School. From the hangar, to the ship’s gym, into the missile deck, up into the bridge, and down to the officer’s cabin, wardroom and dining hall; they got a glimpse into the operations of the frigate and what life was like on board for the frigate crew.


Mr Goh Yi Jian, a student from Naval Base Secondary School, exclaimed: “The frigate is really advanced and cool. The warship is armed to the teeth yet feels so warm and homely in the dining room. When I grow up I want to be part of this big and formidable family!” There was a great enthusiasm among the public to learn about the inner workings of a warship. Children and adults alike were interested in having a first-hand experience of the ship equipment. This included sighting through the gyrocompass at the bridge, which is used by the navigation crew to confirm the location of the ship while at sea. Even as exclamations of “oohs” and “ahs” were heard, the flashes of cameras were frequently seen. The public clicked away as they tried to capture images of the ship’s quarters. Many also took the chance to pose on the

28 Onwards and Upwards

commanders’ chairs, in the wardroom, and dining hall. The balconies and broadwalk at VivoCity also became impromptu perches to capture images of the majestic frigate. In particular, crowds gathered as the daily ceremonial sunset was conducted and RSS INTREPID basked in a warm golden glow. At 7:15 pm, sailors dressed impeccably in their crisp, white No. 1 uniforms marched from the hangar onto the helicopter deck, to the accompanying drumbeats of the SAF Band. As the ship’s bell was rung, the bugle sounded out and the naval ensign at the aft of the ship was lowered. The usual buzz of conversation died down during this time-honoured tradition practised by navies the world over. ME2 Adrian Lum, who participated in the ceremonial sunset contingent, shared: “We


rehearsed numerous times to ensure that everything went smoothly. The ceremony holds a lot of significance for us sailors, and the public was watching our every move, after all!”

queues stretched throughout the mall as parents and grandparents waited in place for the young ones to have their photograph taken in the white, crisp naval uniform.

The open spaces in the food alley at level 1 of VivoCity were also packed during the weekend, as huge crowds of people milled around the Navy exhibition booth. There were mural boards about the RSN and displays of guns and equipment used by the naval divers and Accompanying Sea Security Team (ASSeT).

Although the entire event was executed smoothly and seemingly effortlessly, it belied great effort on the part of the ship’s crew to make Navy@Vivo a success. ME2 Lum shared: “We began preparations since the start of the year, and we even had volunteers from other frigates coming down to help.”

Some of the visitors, especially the young children, were initially intimidated by the weapons. However, a larger portion were excited and curious, posing for photographs and rapidly firing off questions at the RSN personnel on duty at the booth.

1. RSS INTREPID berthed alongside the Vivocity Promenade 2. Navy@Vivo ends with a bang 3. Students look through the gyro-compass in the bridge 4. An RSN ambassador offers assistance during the ship tour 5. Visitors enjoying themselves on the flight deck of RSS INTREPID 6. Throngs of excited visitors queuing to go on board RSS INTREPID 7. Posing for a photo in naval uniform 8. A young visitor posing with helmet and rifle

A major crowd-puller was the photo-taking for children in the Navy’s No. 1 uniform. The



29 Onwards and Upwards

Forging Ties: IMDEX 2013

Story by Avinash Verma Photo by Navy News

The silhouette of a warship slowly fades into the distant horizon with the conclusion of the series of events held in conjunction with the International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference (IMDEX) Asia 2013. From 14-16 May, the Changi Exhibition Centre and Changi Naval Base was bustling with activities as more than 30 Navy and Air Force Chiefs, Directors-General of Coast Guard and Vice-Chiefs, their delegations and crew from 15 international warships from across the world came down to Asia’s flagship maritime defence show, shared their thoughts at professional maritime conferences and interacted with their counterparts. As shared by Chief of Navy RADM Ng Chee Peng: “IMDEX Asia is an important forum. The conferences and exercises provide us with the opportunity to engage our partners and participate in constructive dialogue and collective action on common security issues. At the same time, we can deepen mutual understanding, enhance interoperability and enable capacity building among participating navies.”

30 Onwards and Upwards


Th is sentiment was also expressed by Minister of Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen during his opening address at IMDEX Asia 2013. The event was identified as “a key platform for defence professionals to exchange views and enhance cooperation in the maritime domain”.

The International Maritime Security Conference held on 15 May was an ideal occasion for regional military leaders and key stakeholders in the maritime community to deepen dialogue under the theme of “Safe and Secure Seas - Strengthening Cooperation in Maritime Security”. Some 350 participants listened on as seven speakers from various navies shared their views in dealing with maritime security challenges.

exchange ideas, share insights, and connect with one another at the inaugural Asian edition of the International Naval Engineering Conference at IMDEX Asia 2013 from 14 to 16 May.

Maritime defence and naval technology professionals were similarly given a platform to 4

“But I think the essential element for IMDEX is for Singapore and the international community to be able to discuss peace and stability in the region,” he stated, in view of the profound impact of events in the maritime domain.



31 Onwards and Upwards




Practical cooperation between the various international maritime agencies in the shared interest area of maritime security was also strengthened with the conduct of the Maritime Information-Sharing Exercise (MARISX) 2013 and the 4th Western Pacific Naval Symposium Multilateral Sea Exercise (WMSX) held over


the three day period.

In the midst of the busy schedule, naval diplomacy This year’s MARISX was the between the various countries largest ever with 85 participants were hard at work. Dr Ng, and and 40 operation centres from then-Senior Minister of State 30 countries, such as Australia, for Defence Mr Chan Chun Bangladesh, China, Finland, Sing, visited the international Indonesia, Malaysia, the United warships berthed in Changi States and Vietnam. Naval Base. RADM Ng also hosted over 450 officials In a first for WMSX, naval assets and dignitaries to a cocktail and command teams from 11 reception at Changi Naval Base, countries were challenged to while the warships from the carry out maritime security various navies hosted their own operations in the highly cocktail reception on their ships congested littoral environment on 15 May. of the Singapore Strait. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Admiral Jonathan and Admiral Evangelos celebrating their birthdays Then-MG Ng Chee Meng trying out the simulator during the MARISX opening The Indonesian navy discussing issues during IMSC RADM Ng Chee Peng oberving a traditional Indonesian tribal dance RADM Ng Chee Peng meeting with ADM Greenert from the US Navy Officials and heads of navies from various countries trying out the simulator during the MARISX opening 7. Naval officers and officials from around the world mingling at the IMDEX cocktail held in Changi Naval Base 8. Mr David Loosley, Chief Executive iMarEST giving the welcoming remarks during INEC 9. RADM Ng Chee Peng onboard the Indian Frigate(INS SATPURA) 10. RADM Ng Chee Peng visiting a cocktail onboard the malaysian frigate(KD LEIKU)

32 Onwards Now Hear and Upwards This

Guarding the Gulf of Aden: CTF 151 Story by Leon Lam Photos by PIONEER


33 Onwards Now Hear and Upwards This

From 7 Mar to 6 Jun, a 49-strong SAF command team comprising 47 RSN, 1 Army and 1 RSAF personnel was deployed to the Gulf of Aden to participate in the multinational Combined Task Force (CTF) 151 for counter-piracy operations. The command team was joined by six international officers from Indonesia, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Australia and the Republic of Korea. Under the leadership of RADM Giam Hock Koon, they led the operation from Royal Navy ship RFA FORT VICTORIA and US Navy base, Naval Support Activity Bahrain, to ensure the safety of ships passing through the Gulf. After taking over command of CTF 151, RADM Giam said: “As a maritime nation dependent on the sea for our security and economic well-being, Singapore is honoured to play her part and contribute towards the freedom of navigation and safety of shipping at sea.” The command team had their work cut out for them. “We had to make sure we were always on top of the situation, coordinate the assets of the Combined Task Force and plan for any contingencies,” said MAJ Eileen Chua, one of the battle watch captains. ME3 Tan Seow Beng, a battle watch assistant, added: “We had to direct our assets, which included warships and surveillance aircraft, to gather intelligence and foil any piracy attempts. It was definitely a demanding task.” The challenge only spurred the command team to put in their best efforts. ME2 Stanley Lim, a communications supervisor, said: “I wanted to gain operational insight of a command team running an international counter-piracy operation, and I have definitely learned valuable lessons from all the trials and tribulations we experienced in the Gulf!”

34 Onwards and Upwards


The command team’s training and decision making skills were tested every day. On 5 Jun, a day before the team was due to hand over command, the Indian dhow S/K Shahe Faize Noori reported that she was boarded by suspected pirates off the Somali northern coastline. Upon receiving the information, the command team expeditiously coordinated with the counter-piracy forces to localise and shadow the dhow, prompting the suspected pirates to flee under cover of darkness. MAJ (NS) Jimmy Ng, Future Ops Planner, believes the above incident demonstrates a continued need for the operation, saying: “Not too long ago, the Strait of Malacca also had piracy issues, and it was only after the RSN cooperated with regional navies that the frequency of pirate attacks decreased. I believe we should ‘pay it forward’ and do our part to help secure the Gulf of Aden. Taking part in this operation is also a golden opportunity to see multinational maritime forces working together!” MWO Tan Hong Boon, Master Chief, agreed, adding: “Interacting with the foreign sailors was very enriching and exciting. We engaged them in many areas and got to know their practices and cultures better. I believe that they are our link to further our future collaborations with their navies.”

ME3 John Chew, a battle watch assistant, said: “Every day was a unique and fun experience because we were doing different things. Every one of us is so close because we work, train and play together as a close-knit team every day. You could even say we’re a second family!” MAJ (NS) Ng concludes: “We could feel a measure of respect from our foreign counterparts, larger countries with much longer maritime histories. The low number of piracy incidents and zero successful hijacks in the Gulf during the entire OBS(C) deployment is a testament to the excellent work of CTF 151. Singapore can stand proud to have led this mission.”

1. RADM Giam advising a command team member 2. Chief of Defence Force then-MG Ng Chee Meng visits the command team 3. A RSN command team member working with her colleague from the United Arab Emirates. 4. Members of the SAF command team flying our flag high in the Gulf of Aden


35 Onwards and Upwards

Who’s driving this thing?

Story by Clement Tan Photo by Navy News and 194 Squadron

The future – An Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV) patrols the sea tirelessly, watching and ready to take action against hostile forces; Overhead, an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) provides aerial coverage for better situational awareness to the teams on the ground; And underwater, an Autonomous Underwater

Vehicle (AUV) scours the ocean floor for the hazard of mines and other underwater threats. These unmanned systems have added a new dimension to the 3rd Generation RSN, enabling our crews to see more, see further, and if necessary, strike faster. And all without direct risk to our servicemen. Welcome to the future.

36 Onwards and Upwards

PROTECTOR Unmanned Surface Vehicle The PROTECTOR USV has seen much action, with the RSN being the fi rst navy to have deployed her in an operational setting. The USV, with its fast and wide coverage, is ideal for patrols where a quick response is desired. Being armed, it is also ideal as the fi rst line of defence. ME3 Jacky Wong, Operations Chief, Unmanned Systems Section, shared: “During my anti-piracy deployment in the Gulf of Aden in 2005, we achieved a notable feat by using the USV to safely and effectively shadow a suspected pirate-mother ship. Other navies were very impressed and some even requested assistance from our USV for some of their patrols!” On operating the USV, ME2 Benard Foo, a Payload Supervisor, explained that they only make it look easier than it actually is. “My fellow operator and I have to work closely to manoeuvre the craft while operating the weapon and camera at the same time. Good teamwork, communication and plenty of time spent together ensures that we have good synergy to get the job done well.” Since playing an active frontline role in overseas deployments, the USVs are now gradually being integrated into the base defence ecosystem. By mid-2013, USV patrols off Changi Naval Base will be a regular sight, adding yet another capability to the potent Base Defence Squadron. SCANEAGLE Unmanned Aerial Vehicle The ScanEagle UAV has been in service with the RSN since last year. During a major Fleet exercise in 2012, the Minister for Defence, Dr Ng Eng Hen, aboard RSS VALIANT, even launched

and flew the UAV. The ScanEagle’s purpose is to conduct surveillance operations, providing the RSN with a more comprehensive maritime picture, especially for the smaller platforms not usually equipped with helicopters. MAJ Eric Ang, Head UAV section, shared: “Th is is significant as it allows us to see further, react faster, and hit a

hostile target before they even know we are there. Most importantly, the UAV is “eyes on the ground”, meaning that even if the target doesn’t reveal its identity through her electronic signature, we can still identify it.” ME2 Kenneth Koh, one of the pilots, shared: “Being the pioneer batch to pilot a UAV from a ship is both a challenge and a privilege that exhilarates me. Everyone will be looking at how we perform and it pushes me to work harder.” The RSN is the fi rst Navy in the world to operate the UAV from a ship. The ScanEagle now provides our Missile Corvettes with an ability to conduct ‘last-mile’ identification, giving the 25-year-old ships yet another dimension to its combat effectiveness. REMUS Autonomous Underwater Vehicle The REMUS (Remote Environmental Monitoring UnitS) AUV is capable of conducting

37 Onwards and Upwards

hydrographic surveys in a variety of underwater conditions. Compact and man-portable, the system can be easily transported onto any platform and thus equip them with a very basic mine detection capability. In addition to ease of use and higher coverage speeds, its small size means that AUVs are able to conduct survey operations in areas deemed unsafe to reach with traditional mine hunting vessels. The RSN’s AUV was successfully deployed for the fi rst time during the International Mine Countermeasure Exercise 2012 in Bahrain.

MAJ Teng Teck Hong, Head Unmanned Sytems (Underwater), who was part of the team shared: “The RSN AUV team was involved in the full spectrum of the AUV operations ranging from mission planning and briefi ng, launch and recovery operations to post-mission data analysis. The team was able to correctly identify all the 21 echoes detected by the AUV as non-mine objects. Notably, our AUV team assisted the Japan Maritime Security Defence Force’s AUV team to correctly classify a mine-like target which was later identified to be a MANTA exercise mine.”

Comprising a symposium and afloat tactical exercise, the AUV team demonstrated her effectiveness. 1. The Protector Unmanned Surface Vechicle participating in the Dynamic Sea Display section of NDP 2013 2. The Remote Environment Monitoring Units (REMUS) Autonomous Underwater Vehicle: enchancing the RSN’s mine hunting capability


38 Now Hear This!

‘GUARDIANS’ OF OUR NAVAL HOME – THE MEN OF THE BASE DEFENCE SQUADRONS Story by Aloysius Chan Photos by Aloysius Chan and CPT Desmond Thia

39 Now Hear This!

Just think, as you are about to begin your day at daybreak, the sea soldiers of Base Defence Squadrons are already out and about - zipping through the waters of the naval bases on their trusty rigid hull inflatable boat. At the same time, another team is preparing for their patrol along the perimeter of the base while another stands vigilantly at the entrance to the base. While the ships, men and women of the RSN valiantly guard and defend the maritime gateways of Singapore, we in turn rely on a tireless group of men who help us ensure that our ships and bases are safe and secure after the mission, and stand ready for the next. These are the men from the base defence squadrons. They are the Sea Soldiers from the Changi and Tuas Defence Squadrons. Comprising regular servicemen, full-time national servicemen and operationally ready national servicemen (NSmen), they form a potent force capable of deterring, detecting, and defeating, if need be, any security threats to our bases.

40 Now Hear This!


Everyday, they take on both the land-based and seaward defences of the naval bases. From the routine security screening of personnel and vehicles entering, to regular patrols of the base and the gazetted waters nearby, the Sea Soldiers are constantly aware of all the possible threats that all modern military installations face. From unauthorised cameras to terrorists, all sorts of security threats are kept at bay through the Sea Soldier’s vigilance and dedication. The setup and evolution of the base defence squadrons under Base Command were to address the changing security environment at the start of the millennium, according to Deputy Fleet Commander and Base Commander COL Joe Cheong. He added: “Many of the advanced force protection systems we have today were just nonexistent in the past. But we continually stayed ahead of the curve and the men of Base Defence Squadron are a credible deterrent, on par with the best out there.”


Realising the full potential of these systems can only be done through quality people. Upon completion of Basic Military Training, Sea Soldiers have to complete the 8-week Security Trooper Course and then the 12-week Sea Soldier Course before they can proudly call themselves a qualified Sea Soldier. Even with a shift system, the grind of the job does take its toll. LCP Chen Wei Wen, from Changi Defence Squadron, shared: “It is mentally demanding to scan through every human face and vehicle on a daily basis... (But) we always remind ourselves that the safety and security of ships and personnel in the base rests solely on us.” “The hardest part of being a Sea Soldier is the mental discomfort of being on duty for quite a few days in a row. The feeling of not being able to be with your loved ones, sometimes even on weekends and public holidays, does get to you,” shared LCP Vijay Thomas Vergis from the Tuas Defence Squadron. “But I know that my National Service as a Sea Soldier is important and I am proud to serve my country.” The duty is even more onerous when foreign warships call and berth at the bases, either during a routine visit or during high-key events like the recently concluded International Maritime and Defence Exhibition and Conference Asia (IMDEX) 2013. “I think the crews of the visiting warships feel safer knowing that their vessels are in the good hands of the


Now Hear This! Now Hear This!


RSN Sea Soldiers.” shared CPL Loh Chong Jiet from Changi Defence Squadron. The demands placed on them of course increase during other large-scale events, such as the Navy Open House. With more than 122,000 visitors traversing through the gates of Changi Naval Base, the Sea Soldiers have proven that they can step up to the challenge. “We had to ensure that our visitors do not wander into the off-limit areas as this may compromise base security. This is especially challenging when there are so many visitors,” shared 3SG Ahmad Ashraf, a section leader in the Changi Defence Squadron.

1. Sea Soldiers stand at the ready to deter seaborne threats to the security of the naval base 2. Sea Soldiers from the Changi Defence Squadron Access Control Force 3. A Sea Soldier conducting vehicular checks on visitors to the Changi Naval Base 4. The Sea Security Team conducting routine patrols in the gazetted water around Changi Naval Base onboard the Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat 5. CPL Ibrahim from the Changi Defence Squadron conducting checks on visitors to Changi Naval Base with a metal detector

In addition, the Sea Soldiers had to also help with crowd control. “We had to ensure that the flow of human traffic is smooth so that the arrival and departure of visitors from the base will not be disrupted. This will help make their experience a good one,” added 3SG Ashraf. As mentioned, the core of the Sea Soldier corps comprises of NSmen. During their in-camp training, the NSmen have to juggle work and family commitments and yet serve to form an essential part of the team. LTA (NS) Lye Yu Min in particular is cognisant of this as he is responsible to plan the reservist recall schedule for his men. “As a commander, I understand what our men are going through when they are recalled to camp, to be away from their work and families. Hence we try our best for formulate a reservist recall schedule that is convenient to all our men so as to take their minds off their commitments outside of camp. This will allow them to better focus on their duties in camp. So it is a win-win strategy for both us and our men.” CPL (NS) Shawn Tan from the Changi Defence Squadron, feels that while the work routine of a Sea Soldier may be tough, the long work-week does actually allow the team to form a strong bond and sense of camaraderie. “We see one another every other day of the week. We eat together, sleep together, train hard together, and laugh together. Some of us see one another more often than we see our own family!” recounted CPL Tan with a laugh. “This makes my unit in-camp feel like a second home. And I am proud to serve with this band of brothers.”

42 Now Hear This!


For being the best, the crews of seven ships were recognised for excelling in operations, exercises, high standards of readiness, safety, discipline and gunnery. The awards included Squadron Best Ship, RSN Best Ship and RSN Top Gun. Navy News finds out more about these ships and what motivates them to be the best.

RSN Best Ship ▼


2 1 ME2 Leo Qi Dao, Weapon System Supervisor, closing up as a bridge gunner during counterpiracy operations in the gulf 2 LTC Vince Tan posing with his crew 3 RSS INTREPID on display at VivoCity

The crew of RSS Intrepid are no strangers to firsts. Last year, they were the first frigate to be deployed in the Gulf of Aden. Earlier, they were also the first frigate to successfully fire an Aster missile. In March this year, they were also the “first” Singapore warship to berth along the Promenade at VivoCity. Then-Commanding Officer of RSS INTREPID, LTC Vince Tan attributes the success of these “firsts” to the strong learning culture within the ship. “I believe that creating the learning environments and the willingness of the team to reflect, learn, adapt and grow


together put us in good stead to meet future challenges.” He added: “We believe that behind every system there must be a trained operator; behind every plan there must be a trained team.” ME1 Viknash S/O Jaya Paul, the frigate’s Electronic Control Systems Specialist credits the award to their cohesiveness. “We are a closeknit group. We spend so much time with each other that we understand each other very well. Winning this award shows that our efforts were recognised by the squadron. It’s not just mine or belong to just a handful of us. Every single one of us actually put in the effort and contributed to this award.”

43 Now Hear This!

Best Ship – 171 Squadron ▼ Rarely seen or noticed by anyone else, the crew of 171 squadron carry out their operations deep underwater. In addition, the crew faces challenging operating conditions inside the submarine. The confined space combined with the tropical weather pushes the crew to their limits.


ME2 Gijo George, an Underwater Systems Specialist is jubilant that RSS CHIEFTAIN has won the squadron best ship award this year. “We are a team that can overcome the challenges and obstacles that we face when we go out to sea. Having to operate in very confined spaces, this encourages us to actually communicate and understand each other better.” The sweat and hard work put in by her crew led RSS CHIEFTAIN to shine among her sister submarines. Commanding Officer of RSS CHIEFTAIN, LTC Charles Teng reflected: “As the commanding officer, I am proud of my crew and this achievement. To clinch such a prestigious award is definitely not easy but we managed to do it.”

2 1 RSS CHIEFTAIN at sea 2 The crew having a light-hearted moment 3 The crew celebrating their Best Ship win


44 Now Hear This!

RSN Best Ship - 182/89 Squadron ▼ “The Silent Guardians”, “Protector of our Shores” and “24/7 Defenders”. They are known by many names, but the crew of 182/89 squadron just want to be known as servicemen who are doing their duty and doing it well. The squadron’s best ship, RSS FEARLESS, went beyond that! Besides demonstrating operational excellence while conducting their patrols in the Singapore Strait and conducting of bilateral exercises and operations, like the IndonesiaSingapore Coordinated Patrol, the ship also spearheaded the efforts to share on the RSN’s contributions to Singapore’s defence in National Education initiatives like the Total Defence exhibition.


Strong commitment from all the ship crew was the key element that got them through their busy schedule. “I think about what is at stake and I tell myself to ignore how tired Showcasing the AR-15 during the Total Defence I am. Instead, focus on the Day 2013 exhibition job at hand.” CPL Siew Cai

2 Posing proudly in front of their ship



Jie Jasper, a Weapon Systems Operator, shared. ME3 Chong Soon Teck, coxwain of RSS FEARLESS, is the main “cheerleader” to ensure the crew stays motivated. “I ensure that they have a work-life balance and also carry out frequent mentoring sessions and interact with the crew frequently,” he said. “After our patrols we usually go out to eat together and have fun,” CPL Siew chipped in.

45 Now Hear This!

Best Ship – 188 Squadron ▼ Exercise Malapura with the Royal Malaysian Navy in Feb 13.


In addition, the ship was also involved in the International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference Asia 2013 and managing the sea cruises and rides for Navy Open House 2013.

“The ship was named the squadron best ship for our clear focus on attaining and maintaining operational readiness. This translated to a strong commitment to meeting the mission objectives for all the taskings the ship undertook and achieving mission success each time,” shared LTC Eric Tan, former commanding officer of RSS VICTORY, who had led the team to win the Squadron Best Ship award. It has indeed been a busy year for the crew of RSS VICTORY. Besides operationalising the capabilities of the upgraded missile corvette, the ship was also involved in other exercises like the Singapore-Indian Maritime Bilateral Exercise in Apr 12, the Singapore-US Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training exercise in Jul 12, and

For the crew, the award was just the tip of the iceberg in recognition of the hard work over the last year. ME1 Gabriel Goh, a Communications Specialist, shared: “We worked so hard for the past year and I felt that the award is an achievement for our hard work.”


1 Hard at work at the helms 2 Cohesiveness - the key to success 3 Keeping the waters of Singapore safe


46 Now Hear This!

Best Ship – 191 Squadron ▼ “The ship is founded on three values which the ship crew holds dear during my command – spirit of endurance, one heartbeat and coming to work smiling. The crew has a common goal and vision that drives them towards operational excellence,” explained LTC Jason Yee, Commanding Officer of RSS ENDURANCE, 191 Squadron’s best ship for this year. Like its name, many operations undertaken by the ship last year were long deployments, which required the crew to show their endurance to operate at their peak conditions during prolonged

operations. This included the 6-week Midshipman Sea Training Deployment, and more recently, the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM)PLUS Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief/Military Medicine Exercise held in Brunei. ME1 Brendan Low, a Navigation Specialist who was involved in the exercise, shared: “It was a challenge to the crew as we needed to be ready at all times, in order to ensure that our assets are deployed in a timely fashion. The crew were able to do so through great teamwork and tight bonding.”

1 The crew enjoying themselves 2 A crew menber practicing damage control drills 3 Crew members forming their ship’s pennant number out at sea




To mark the end of an eventful day

Photos by ME2 Teo Chee Sern Navy News Issue 2 (2013)

Ceremonial Sunset

To mark the end of an eventful day

Photos by ME2 Teo Chee Sern Navy News Issue 2 (2013)

Ceremonial Sunset

49 Now Hear This!

RSN Best Ship - 194 Squadron ▼ close-knit crew putting in their best in everything we do,” exclaimed ME3 Sabrina Goh, thenCoxswain of RSS PUNGGOL. Having undergone her mid-life upgrade, the crew of RSS PUNGGOL was deeply involved in the operationalisation of the new capabilities. In June last year, the ship successfully fired the K-STER Expendable Mine Disposal System – making the RSN the first Navy in the world to do so. 1

“The smiles and joy on the crews’ faces when our Commanding Officer received the Best Ship Award from Chief of Navy on Navy Day is one of the moments I would remember for a long time. We did not have fancy poppers, air horns or any special stuff, but the crew cheered, screamed and clapped thunderously. In my heart, it just proves a very simple point, that the ship does not need big guns, state-of-the-art missiles or sensors, we already have what it needs, a set of motivated and


CFC Tan Yi Neng, a Weapons Systems Operator, is proud that he belongs to the crew of RSS PUNGGOL. A smiling CFC Tan shared: “Working together with the crew is like school kids getting together to finish a project, we have fun while we do our work. We build rapport 1 2SG Stewart within the team to complete Chew with our tasks efficiently and safely. the K-Ster Expendable I believe this forged our good Mine Disposal System working culture.” 2 Posing in front of their ship

50 Now Hear This!

Top Gun – RSN ▼ RSS STEADFAST was awarded the accolade of the RSN’s top gun for this year after delivering outstanding performances in all aspects of the annual gunnery competition. This attested to the accuracy of her gunners and the strong support from the ship’s engineering team and other crew members. Weapons Control Systems Supervisor ME2 Benson Quek was thrilled about winning the award and reflected: “It is heartening to see our efforts being recognised. The award is a validation of all our hard work. The hours of training and preparation for the shoots amidst the high operational tempo helped build confidence of the gunnery team in achieving desired results.” 1 The crew of RSS STEADFAST hard at work in the Combat Information Centre 2 RSS STEADFAST - The RSN Top Gun 2013



SLTC Saw Shi Tat, then-Commanding Officer of RSS STEADFAST, attributed the accomplishment to the collective efforts of the crew. “Everyone, irrespective of rank or appointment, has played an integral role in ensuring that the ship is in her best condition. There is a common goal in striving for operational excellence and to excel in all that we do.”

51 Know Your NAVWOC Member


Dare and Do Story by Aloysius Chan Photos by Aloysius Chan and ME5 Nirmal Singh Dhillon

Dare and Do. Meet ME5 Nirmal Singh Dhillon, Master Chief MSTF since 14 Jan 2011. With a personal motto like this, it is not difficult to see why ME5 Nirmal is such a respected and popular figure. In this issue, Navy News gets to know the man a little better. Why did you join the Navy? Basically I signed on with the Navy to see the world. After completing my studies at the tender age of 16 ½ years, I was attracted by the Navy’s unofficial recruitment slogan at that time, which was “Join the Navy, See the World”. I was interested in the life that the Navy was offering : an adventurous life that would allow me to expand my horizons, travelling to places that

few have been to and even fewer would want to go to. These are the things that a desk job cannot compete with. And after 36 years in the Navy, I believe I have really seen the world. Where did you begin your naval training and how has that helped you in subsequent years? I am a naval gunner by vocation, and I started my shipboard duties aboard the minesweeper, the RSS MERCURY. I learnt the value of sound seamanship fundamentals. No matter what job you are in, or how sophisticated the nature of your operations are, the fundamentals are still very important. If things should go wrong, or when the most technologically advanced of your equipment fail you, you will need to depend on these core seamanship skills.

52 Know Your NAVWOC Member

I also learnt that in the Navy you have to work with people from different backgrounds and from all walks of life. Sometimes this makes it difficult to communicate effectively with them, and sometimes you are even on a ‘different frequency’ with them. However I believe that actions speak louder than words. By leading by example and developing our people, we can inspire those under our charge to greater heights. So I often just roll up my sleeves and get my hands dirty together with them. I have found that this helps to build a strong rapport and helps me understand them better. Lead by example. Always. As Master Chief MSTF, are there figures that motivate you and you look up to? Yes, of course. That would be no other than the late 1WO Loke Meng, who was my instructor aboard RSS MERCURY. He was a no-nonsense figure who was immensely passionate about his job, and he really made sure that his ship crew were well trained. He was also a perfectionist who paid much attention to detail. I remember that he would often tell us that a paint store should be free from the smell of paint. At that time, my crew mates and I found that really amusing and silly. However, he was trying to


instil in us the virtue of professionalism - if you maintain a paint store in tip-top condition, it will never reek of paint. Likewise, in all that you do, be professional about it all the time. I see from your many medals that you have been deployed to the Gulf of Aden. Is there anything you would like to share with our readers? I had a fulfi lling time when I was deployed there as part of the 24-men, command team of the Combined Task Force 151 (CTF 151) in 2011. This is the international flotilla of warships that patrol the Gulf of Aden to deter, detect, and disrupt piracy in the region. There, I had the opportunity to work hand-in-hand with many foreign navies as we directed the operations of the other CTF 151 assets in theatre from our headquarters aboard the United States Navy Arleigh-Burke Class Destroyer, the USS MASON. Being at the frontline for 38 days at a stretch is no easy feat, however the warm hospitality extended to us by our hosts as well as the friendships forged made it much easier. The amenities aboard the ship were also first-rate - there were gyms, recreational facilities and even gift shops that we would frequent when we were off-duty. All of these helped to create a comfortable and conducive environment for us to operate. My key takeaway – when you demand the most from your men, make sure you also look after them. Then they can come back and serve you better.

53 Know Your NAVWOC Member

So what is a ‘normal’ day like for Master Chief MSTF? What are some of your challenges that you face? As Master Chief MSTF, my main role is to look after the morale, welfare and discipline while nurturing and inspiring the men under my charge. So a day in the MSTF isn’t easy at all! We have very big shoes to fi ll and we must be operationally ready 24/7! Mornings usually start in the Information Fusion Centre (IFC), where we talk about the current Maritime Security situation of the waters of Singapore. But after that is when the ‘real work’ starts for me – engaging the men and women of MSTF at the personal level. I believe in walking the ground. I also get aboard during patrol missions and engage the crew by sharing with them the knowledge and experience that I have gained over the years. So that’s how I usually spend my days at work - talking and interacting with the men and getting acquainted with them and their needs. By doing so, I can learn more about the men under my charge and understand their needs better. Our prime asset is our people and one key challenge I face is to keep them motivated, especially since they are working so hard! At the end of the day, those that safeguard our waters are also people and it is really taxing to maintain daily patrols and routines while remaining vigilant and operationally ready throughout the day. Hence it is important that we as commanders try our best to support them, be it physically, mentally, or emotionally. The iCare framework helps me do my job better. So what motivates you to do what you do for the men? Th roughout my career, the Navy has always given me countless opportunities to develop myself, while showing me care and concern. I am very grateful to the Navy for everything that I have and I think it is only right that I give back by guiding those under my charge to be good sailors, instructors, and leaders. That, to me, is the epitome of work satisfaction.

Tell us a bit about your family. I am happily married and I have three sons, aged 23, 21 and 17. Our family is really interested in doing voluntary work! My sons and I have signed up with the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) Befrienders Programme, where we go down to a dialysis centre on the weekends to interact and chat with patients while they undergo treatment. Bi-monthly, we would pick up rations from the NKF centre and help distribute it to needy beneficiaries on behalf of the NKF. I believe that we should impart to the younger generation values, such as compassion and altruism, as early as we can. Only then can they make the values their own. Tell us something about yourself nobody else in the Navy knows. When I joined the Navy back in 1976, I didn’t know how to swim (chuckles)! During that time, many people my age just didn’t have the motivation, time and opportunity to learn swimming. On hindsight, that is quite amusing considering that I am now a qualified professional diver.

1. ME5 Nirmal Singh Dhillon, Master Chief MSTF. 2. ME5 Nirmal Singh Dhillon (second row, first from left) with the crew of RSS MERCURY. 3. ME5 Nirmal Singh Dhillon with his son CPL Amandis Singh Dhillon during the Navy Open House 2013. 4. ME5 Nirmal Singh Dhillon interacting with the crew of RSS DARING.

54 Know Your Naval Family

IMPROVING THE NAVY, ONE STEP AT A TIME Story by Avinash Verma Photos by Avinash Verma and ME5 Niow Choon Hock


eople think that engineers just fi x things but I find that incorrect, engineers improve things as well. If not, where would we be today?” ME5 Niow Choon Hock, who is a senior engineer at the Naval Logistics Department, wishes to dispel this common misunderstanding. “I remember seeing an RSN advertisement at that time which said ‘experience the sun, sand and sea’ and this really captivated me and I also wanted to serve the nation,” ME5 Niow recalls fondly.

Since he was young, ME5 Niow always had an intense passion for engineering. When he was in polytechnic, he took up Electrical Engineering and has never looked back since. A career as an engineer in the RSN was a natural transition. His passion for engineering was further cultivated in his last 13 years in the RSN. Following his commissioning as a naval technical officer in 2000, ME5 Niow took on the role of Weapons Electronic Officer on RSS Valiant, providing engineering support for the operational readiness of the RSN warships.



Know Your Naval Family

Know Your Naval Family


ensure that the proposals from the suppliers meet the requirements in the most cost effective way. This can be challenging, given the short deadlines we usually work on,” he shared. In addition, he also has to come up with ideas to improve the systems. “When the requirements change, we have to work with suppliers to update the systems and it can be tricky to do so without affecting the ship’s current operation.”


Motivated to further his engineering knowledge, ME5 Niow took up a bachelor in Electrical Engineering from the National University of Singapore in 2008 He went on to do a Masters and Doctorate, finally graduating in 2012 as a Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering. In fact, ME5 Niow was involved in the research project to design a Combat Antennae Array system for the US Navy during his research for his PhD. “I chose to do this because I want to maximise my learning opportunities particularly in the area of command and control (C2) system and apply what I have learnt back to the Navy,” he said. Today, as a senior engineer, ME5 Niow takes charge of the maintenance and development of plans to upgrade the C2 systems in all RSN ships. “I work closely with professionals from companies such as the Defence Science & Technology Agency to deliver the system. It is my responsibility to

Mr Wong Kok Leong, ME5 Niow’s current boss is extremely impressed by his “never-say-die” attitude. “When given a technical task, he (ME5 Niow) will find out more about the issues and read up journals to have a better appreciation of the issues at hand. I think this is inspiring. Many people simply make assumptions and hope to solve a problem using the same yard stick.” Outside of work, ME5 Niow indulges in his own hobbies, one of which includes flying kites. During the weekends, he goes to West Coast Park to fly his kite as a way to release stress and have a breath a fresh air. “Not many people know this,” he quipped while laughing to himself. On top of everything, ME5 Niow would like to personally thank the RSN as a whole and particularly the Naval Logistics Organisation for making him what he is today. “I want to express my gratitude to the NLO for having faith in me, giving me the resources and trusting me to take on larger projects.” 1. To lead, to excel and to overcome are the values that ME5 Niow stands by 2. ME5 Niow using the C2 system with the crew aboard RSS ENDEAVOUR

56 Onwards Photo and Story Upwards

Story by Clement Tan Photo by Navy News and 194 Squadron

▲ SSG Lim Chun Hong oversees the towing of three boats from their storage shed at Changi Naval Base (CNB). Together with his team, SSG Lim ensures that the RHIBs’ engines are in working order, before kitting them out with equipment for the display.

▲ After mounting the RHIB’s machine gun, 1SG Cai Qizhi (left) and SSG Eric Cai load up camouflage netting, life jackets and oxygen tanks, all of which are safety precautions for sailing.

▲ SSG Lim and 1SG Cai, who have been training for the sea display since May, bonded over long rehearsals and training sessions. 1SG Cai says: “Working together as one boat team to put on the best possible Sea Display really brought us together.”

57 Onwards Photo and story Upwards

Countdown to show time Story and Photos by Leon Lam

Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIBs), known for their speed and agility during boarding missions, wowed spectators at this year’s National Day Parade. Navy News takes you through their lead up to the sea display.

▲ Before boarding the RHIBs, 3WO Ho Wen Chieh (fourth from the right), who is the coxswain of the reserve craft, gives his team a final rally. ▼ CPT Kuah Weiqi (right), Officer-in-Charge of the team during the NDP, says: “During the Sea Display we’ll be going very fast. Keeping the RHIBs in formation requires skill, teamwork and focus, but I have full confidence in all my operators.”

▲ Seven time National Day Parade veteran 2WO Wong Ah Han (centre, holding the Singapore flag) says: “I’m looking forward to contributing to Singapore’s 48th birthday celebrations. It’s an honour and a privilege to be part of the team.”


58 Dogwatch Dogwatch

Go for a Swim to Keep Trim and Fit Story by Leon Lam Photos by Navy News and MWO Tan Hong Boon


he RSN has always had a strong affi liation with swimming. Besides having the common element of water, the RSN has also held the championship for the SAFSA Inter-Formation Swimming Competition for the past 2 decades. One of these valiant competitors is MWO Tan Hong Boon. He has taken part in the competition and mentored the RSN swim team manager on several occasions. This experienced swimmer also played in the national water polo team from 1984 to

1989, and is now coaching the RSN water polo team. In fact, MWO Tan was awarded SAFSA’s Best Coach Award for the working years of 2006/2007 and 2008/2009! MWO Tan’s affi nity with water stays strong even today. He hits the pool five times a week, swimming 4-6 km as part of his exercise regime. “So, what’s so good about swimming?” we asked MWO Tan. “Firstly, swimming is an aerobic exercise that

strengthens the heart, improving blood flow throughout your body. Unlike other aerobic exercises like jogging, swimming allows you to work your body without harsh impact to your skeletal system,” MWO Tan enthused. “The water’s buoyancy partially counteracts the force of gravity on your body, and your body never comes into contact with a hard surface.” He added: “Swimmers propel themselves through water, which is approximately twelve times as dense as air. This resistance to every kick and

59 Dogwatch

arm stroke makes swimming an excellent way to build muscle tone and strength.” To MWO Tan a swim has many advantages over a gym workout. “Unlike exercise machines in a gym that tend to work one body part at a time, swimming puts the entire body through a broad range of motion. Arms move in wide arcs, while hips are engaged as the legs cut through the water, and the head and spine twist from side to side.” Swimming isn’t the be-all and end-all of exercise, though, as MWO Tan is quick to remind

us. He says: “If your goal is to increase bone density, you will need to do weight bearing exercises like weight training or running.” A last word of advice from this swimming enthusiast: “A common mistake made by beginners is skipping the warm-ups. They are important for improving your performance as well as minimising the chances of injury.” Swimming is a great part of any exercise routine. Follow MWO Tan’s example, and add it to your workout today!

MWO Tan Hong Boon doing the front crawl (a swimming style) in the pool

60 Port Brief


Eating and Sightseeing in the Capital Of Duck Story by Leon Lam Photos by MAJ William Chew


ou eye the piece of meat on your fork. It’s cold and pale and slightly springy when poked, and doesn’t look too appetizing, to be honest. Sceptical but curious, you take a bite. It’s incredibly tender, and a slight saltiness permeates the meat. It’s fatty without being overly oily, and as you continue chewing, a fragrant and flowery taste spreads across your tongue. Does this heavenly dish have a 1 name? Yes.

“It’s called Nanjing Salted Duck,” says MAJ William Chew. “Nanjing is known as China’s ‘Capital of Duck’ thanks to its duck dishes, and Nanjing Salted Duck is the most famous. Traditionally boiled in the same stock that has been used to cook countless other ducks, the dish’s fragrance and the saltiness that permeates the meat are its claims to fame. It’s a must-try!” For more adventurous gourmands, MAJ Chew

suggests you try another well-known dish—Noodle Soup with Duck’s Blood. “Rich in ingredients and cooked with many different types of herbs (some even medicinal), this tasty dish promises a unique and flavourful experience,” he says. Some readers might be wondering why MAJ Chew is such an expert on Nanjing food. Well, that’s because MAJ Chew is attending the People’s Liberation Army (Navy) Command and Staff

61 Port Brief

Course held at the Naval Command College in Nanjing, and has spent more than half a year in this colourful and vibrant locale! Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu province in eastern China, has long been one of China’s most important cities. With a population of seven million, it is a national centre of education, research, transport networks and tourism, and boasts a rich history and culture dating back thousands of years. Of course, food isn’t the only thing Nanjing is famous for. Besides its delightful cuisine, Nanjing also offers many sightseeing opportunities. If you are interested in ancient maritime history, MAJ Chew is certain that you will enjoy a visit to the Admiral Zheng He Treasure Boat Park, a newly excavated shipyard where much of the famed Chinese navigator’s fleet was built. Take a look at the treasure boats that were used to explore the Indian Ocean as far as Arabia and the coast of Africa decades before Columbus set out on his worldrenowned voyage! To those more interested in 20th century China, MAJ Chew strongly recommends a visit to the Sun Yat Sen Mausoleum, dedicated to the Father of the Republic. Blending the styles of traditional imperial tombs with modern design, it is considered one of the most outstandingly built mausoleums in modern Chinese history. With its deep historical significance and

magnificent architecture, the mausoleum is a very popular tourist destination. Not a fan of history? Never fear! “Stroll along the Qinhuai River and take in the view,” says MAJ Chew. While admiring the beautiful gardens, pavilions and temples on its banks, visitors to the Qinhuai River should also take the opportunity to sample some of the local street food on offer, like chicken feet, steamed meat buns or jellied bean curd pastries. MAJ Chew adds, “Don’t forget to pick up some souvenirs from the street vendors!” Xuanwu lake, named after the God of Water, is another great spot for sightseeing. Besides admiring its azure waters, MAJ Chew advises visitors to walk out onto the lake and visit its five picturesque isles. The isles are especially famous for their gorgeous willow trees and chrysanthemum plants, among others. Flower lovers, listen up! MAJ Chew has just the place for you. “Meihua (Plum Blossom) Hill Garden is an amazing place to visit in spring,” he shares. Indeed, its 35,000 plum trees begin to bloom in early March, transforming the entire 250-acre garden into a beautiful pink-and-purple dreamscape. The best time

to visit is from mid-March to early April, when the other trees in the gardens – peach blossom, pear blossom, cherry blossom and osmanthus among them – begin to blossom and perfume the air. These are just some of the countless exciting and enjoyable experiences which Nanjing has to offer, and MAJ Chew has been enjoying his stay greatly. “Nanjing is a beautiful, hospitable city with rich history and culture, and there’s something for everyone!” he exclaims. We couldn’t agree more.

1. Sun Yat Sen Mausoleum draws countless visitors every year 2. Taking a tour of Xuanwu lake with the whole family 3. A close-up picture of the beautiful plum blossoms on Meihua Hill

62 Free Gangway

STORM IN A (BUBBLE) TEACUP Review and Photos by Aloysius Chan and Avinash Verma

Tea has traditionally been an indelible part of Asian culture, and is the most widely consumed beverage in the world. At the turn of the millennium, Singapore was taken by storm by the introduction of a new variant of tea-based beverage – the Bubble Tea. In this edition of Free Gangway, we travel around Singapore with one goal – to discover the best bubble tea on this island. At all the stores that we visited, we were given the option to customise our drinks such as choosing the level of sweetness, adding extra ingredients such as jelly and also the option to not add the pearls. To ensure fairness, we went for an 80 percent sweetness level with pearls and did not add any extra ingredients. We sampled a classic milk tea as well as a signature drink from each of the three shops

SHARE TEA Milk Tea – By far the best milk tea we tasted. What sets it apart is its rich and creamy texture with just the right amount of sweetness. It also has a great balance of milk and tea, something which most other shops struggle to get right.

Best Classic Milk Tea

Handmade Taro Milk Tea – The most expensive drink in this list but it certainly does not disappoint. It comes out tops in terms of innovation. Grated pieces of yam are mixed in the drink as you sip, bringing another texture to the experience. Overall, it is definitely worth the price and should not be missed.

Best Signature Milk Tea

63 Free Gangway

KOI Milk Tea – Somewhat of a disappointment, especially after tasting Share Tea’s version. It is by no means bad but does not stand out in any way. There is too much milk which masks the taste of the tea and the drink is a little too diluted for our taste. The one thing that they got right was the pearls; they were big but not too chunky and very satisfying to bite on.

Caramel Macchiato – This choice of drink may not be a type of tea but it is one of the signature drinks, so we simply had to try it. The bitter-sweet espresso mixes well with the sweet caramel. It is a great cool-down drink for hot days. Despite being heavy and rather filling, we highly recommend it to those who like caramel.

GONG CHA Milk Tea – If we had a “Best First Impression” award, this drink would win hands-down. It is served with a layer of froth at the top, green tea in the middle and finally milk tea at the bottom layer. Although aesthetically pleasing, its taste does not match its looks. Even after stirring well, the taste of green tea was overpowering such that we could barely taste the milk tea.

Matcha Green Tea with Azuki Bean – An interesting twist on the Japanese dessert that does not pay off. Azuki beans are sweet and crunchy but when mixed with green tea, the combination just feels off. The sweetness of the Azuki beans feels intrusive and does not blend well with the green tea.

64 Back Paddle

Blast from the Past Story by Avinash Verma Photos by Avinash Verma



Mention the Bofors gun and many gunners in the RSN will have stories to share. For many years, it served as the primary gun on most of the RSN platforms and still holds the title as the longest serving gun in the RSN despite being phased out years ago. As former gunners will tell you, the Bofors gun occupies a special place in their hearts. For many, it was like their second wife. “I have fond memories of closing up at the Bofor gun, sweaty and wet. We often had to stand watch for hours on the rough sea, it was really something else,” recounted ME3 Tan Hock Beng, Chief Weapons Control Systems at 185 Squadron. He was a former gunner on the now decommisioned missile gunboats. Before the days of the Mistral missile, Typhoon gun and the Oto Melara naval gun, the Bofors 40mm L70 automatic anti-aircraft gun was the weapon of choice for many RSN vessels. Widely praised for its reliability and accuracy, the battle-proven anti-aircraft weapon was first introduced into the Republic of Singapore Navy vessels as the ‘A’ gun on the County-class landing ship tanks and the ‘Y’ gun on the Seawolf-class missile gun boats in the mid-70’s before becoming a fi xture in the mine countermeasure vessel. Over the next 40 years, the Bofors gun had an illustrious career, taking part in many major exercises with foreign navies especially in the 1980s when it was at the peak of its service.

As the various platforms in the RSN were upgraded with new weapon systems, the Bofors 40mm L70 automatic anti-aircraft gun was gradually phased out and replaced by the more powerful Mistral surface-to-air missiles and Oto Melara guns. However, the Bofors 40mm L70 automatic antiaircraft gun will not be forgotten and has become an indelible part of the Navy’s history. Going out with a bang, the gun was last fired by RSS KATONG last year. It is immortalised in the sculpture “Valour at Sea” in Tuas Naval Base. Featuring a gun crew in action, it rather appropriately faces the sea, “in defence of the base”.

1. Firing the A-Gun was much more ardous in the past. 2. Unveiling of the bronze landmark sculpture titled “Valour at Sea” by then Prime Minister Mr Goh Chok Tong. 3. The A-class Patrol Craft (PC) showcasing its 40mm Bofors forward gun. 3


Many of you may have played the children’s game “Blind Man’s Walk” during your childhood days, where one player must guide a blindfolded partner through a series of obstacles with only verbal commands. However, few of you may know that our submariners also perform a similar “walk” as part of their training.

Navy Speak - Blind Man’s Walk

Story by Leon Lam Picture by Navy News

Submarines operate deep underwater and are designed without any portholes. As such, there is a need for the submariners to be familiar with their operating environment in the event of an emergency that causes a blackout. To earn the coveted submariner’s badge, submariners regularly test themselves with a “Blind Man’s Walk”, navigating the submarine from bow to stern in total darkness, with no assistance from their crewmates. They must also locate and operate key valves and switches. So, the next time you wake up in the middle of the night and grope around in the gloom for your phone, spare a thought for the hardworking men and women serving on board our submarines!

• Back Paddle


A majestic entrance by RSS INTREPID into the VivoCity Promenade. All ready to share the Navy experience with everyone.

Binder navynews issue2 2013 (lr)  

Low Resolution version of Navy News Issue 02/13. Beta Testing version

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