Chief of Defence Force visits troops on duty on New Year's Eve

Chief of Defence Force Melvyn Ong with the crew from the Republic of Singapore Navy Littoral Mission Vessel, RSS Justice, and members from the Accompanying Sea Security Team, as part of his visit to the Maritime Security Task Force at Tuas Naval Base
Chief of Defence Force Melvyn Ong with the crew from the Republic of Singapore Navy Littoral Mission Vessel, RSS Justice, and members from the Accompanying Sea Security Team, as part of his visit to the Maritime Security Task Force at Tuas Naval Base on Dec 31, 2018.PHOTO: MINDEF

SINGAPORE - 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 protection of installations, such as Changi Airport and Jurong Island.

In a Ministry of Defence (Mindef) Facebook post on Monday (Dec 31), 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 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," he added.

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.