Armed forces chiefs visit troops on New Year's Eve duty

Above: Chief of Defence Force Melvyn Ong addressing the crew of the Republic of Singapore Navy's littoral mission vessel RSS Justice and members of the Accompanying Sea Security Team at Tuas Naval Base yesterday.
Above: Chief of Defence Force Melvyn Ong addressing the crew of the Republic of Singapore Navy's littoral mission vessel RSS Justice and members of the Accompanying Sea Security Team at Tuas Naval Base yesterday. PHOTOS: MINDEF
Above: An army security trooper on watch with a GPMG, or general-purpose machine gun.
Above: An army security trooper on watch with a GPMG, or general-purpose machine gun. PHOTOS: MINDEF
Above: Personnel from the Republic of Singapore Air Force's 163 Squadron preparing the I-Hawk for operations. The unit was one of those visited by Chief of Air Force Mervyn Tan.
Above: Personnel from the Republic of Singapore Air Force's 163 Squadron preparing the I-Hawk for operations. The unit was one of those visited by Chief of Air Force Mervyn Tan.PHOTOS: MINDEF

Chief of Defence Force Melvyn Ong and service chiefs visited troops on duty during New Year's Eve, and highlighted the need to stay vigilant over the festive period.

Lieutenant-General (LG) Ong visited some of the units deployed, such as the air force's 143 Squadron operating the F-16 fighter jets and the Maritime Security Task Force, at Tuas Naval Base.

The task force deploys ships to patrol Singapore waters and maintains continuous watch through coastal sensors.

As part of the defence chief's yearly tradition, he also visited the 9th Battalion, Singapore Infantry Regiment (9SIR), which is trained in the protection of installations, such as Changi Airport and Jurong Island.

In a Ministry of Defence (Mindef) Facebook post yesterday, LG Ong said: "Keep watch over Singapore during this festive period. Our families and loved ones can celebrate in peace because of your commitment and professionalism."

LG Ong was accompanied by Chief of Army Goh Si Hou and Chief of Navy Lew Chuen Hong in his visits to the respective units.

Chief of Air Force, Major-General Mervyn Tan, visited the 163 Squadron, which operates the Improved-Hawk surface-to-air missile systems for ground-based air defence.

Major Benjamin Hui, 31, who is the executive officer on the littoral mission vessel RSS Justice, said: "Even though today is New Year's Eve, this day is just as important as the rest of the other 364 days.

"As the nation ushers in the new year, we will continue to stay vigilant and work with other national security agencies to safeguard our security and sovereignty."

9SIR security trooper, Corporal Adil Nur Hakim Ariffin, 20, said: "Being on duty during the festive season is not something we would choose to do, as we cannot celebrate the occasion with our families."

"However, knowing that our 24/7 duty keeps them safe pushes me on to complete my mission," added the full-time national serviceman.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 01, 2019, with the headline 'Armed forces chiefs visit troops on New Year's Eve duty'. Print Edition | Subscribe