SINGAPORE - With 46 naval ships from 21 countries gathered at Changi Naval Base, Singapore played host to one of the largest flotilla of naval ships in the Asia Pacific, as part of the inaugural International Maritime Review on Monday (May 15).
The event marking the Republic of Singapore Navy's (RSN) 50th anniversary was attended by President Tony Tan Keng Yam, who, upon arrival, inspected a parade contingent comprising 300 sailors from the RSN and the 20 participating foreign navies.
Among over 6,000 guests and participants were Minister of Defence Ng Eng Hen, Senior Minister of State for Defence and Foreign Affairs Mohamad Maliki Osman, Chief of Navy Lai Chung Han, more than 30 navy chiefs, vice-chiefs of navy, directors-general of coast guards, and more than 40 flag rank officers.
As reviewing officer, Dr Tan first reviewed the vessels berthed at the wharf while onboard an open top G-wagon.
These included 12 RSN vessels, including the frigate RSS Formidable and littoral mission vessel RSS Independence, which was commissioned earlier this month by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. Among the foreign vessels were helicopter carrier JS Izumo of Japan, replenishment tanker HMNZS Endeavour of New Zealand, and guided missile corvette HTMS Sukhothai from Thailand.
As he rode past, sailors dotting along the length of their ships, which were decorated with naval flags, saluted and waved at the President.
After the land review, Dr Tan headed out to sea on the RSS Independence to continue on a sea review of the remaining ships at the anchorage, accompanied by the foreign navy chiefs.
Following close behind the RSS Independence was its sister ship, LMV Sovereignty, which carried other VIP guests, including SAF Chief of Staff-Joint Staff Lim Tuang Liang, Government Parliamentary Committee for Defence and Foreign Affairs deputy chairman Amrin Amin, committee members Cedric Foo and Joan Pereira, and the spouses of foreign navy chiefs.
As RSS Independence sailed past each ship, Dr Tan waved to the sailors from the bridge wing, who responded in their own ways, such as saluting, cheering or sounding their ship's horn.
Among the 26 vessels at sea were frigate Huangshan of China, guided missile cruiser Varyag of Russia, and frigate UMS King Sin Phyu Shin of Myanmar.
After Dr Tan sailed past the final ship, landing ship tank RSS Endurance, a fly past of two F-15SG fighter jets, a Fokker-50 maritime patrol aircraft and a Sikorsky 70B naval helicopter marked the end of the two-hour review.
Correction note: This story has been edited to correct the designation of SAF Chief of Staff-Joint Staff Lim Tuang Liang and the name of LMV Sovereignty. We are sorry for the errors.