President Halimah tours naval base on first visit to Singapore navy

President Halimah Yacob and her husband Mohamed Abdullah Alhabshee being given an overview of the RSS Singapura - Changi Naval Base from the landing ship tank RSS Endeavour by Captain Yeo Shuang Xuan, the ship's navigation officer, accompanied by Chi
President Halimah Yacob and her husband Mohamed Abdullah Alhabshee being given an overview of the RSS Singapura - Changi Naval Base from the landing ship tank RSS Endeavour by Captain Yeo Shuang Xuan, the ship's navigation officer, accompanied by Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant-General Melvyn Ong (in green), Chief of Navy, Rear-Admiral Lew Chuen Hong (third from right) and Lieutenant-Colonel Teo Swee Pieu (left), commanding officer of RSS Endeavour, yesterday.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

President Halimah Yacob toured the RSS Singapura - Changi Naval Base yesterday, marking her first visit to the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN).

As well as touring the Endurance-class landing ship tank RSS Endeavour, she also took a ride on a fast craft and saw different RSN ships, including a littoral mission vessel, frigates and a submarine.

The President and her husband Mohamed Abdullah Alhabshee were hosted by the Chief of Navy, Rear-Admiral Lew Chuen Hong.

The Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant-General Melvyn Ong, was also present.

Madam Halimah met sailors who took part in a counter-piracy deployment in Bahrain last year, as well as those from the Maritime Security Task Force who are involved in patrols in the Singapore Strait.

The Ministry of Defence said Madam Halimah commended RSN personnel's vigilance, dedication, and commitment to the nation's defence.

President Halimah Yacob and her husband Mohamed Abdullah Alhabshee (second from left) tried their hand at steering a Singapore navy fast craft at RSS Singapura-Changi Naval Base yesterday, with Military Expert 3 William Toh (right) guiding them. It w
President Halimah Yacob and her husband Mohamed Abdullah Alhabshee (second from left) tried their hand at steering a Singapore navy fast craft at RSS Singapura-Changi Naval Base yesterday, with Military Expert 3 William Toh (right) guiding them. It was the President's first visit to the navy, where she was shown different ships. She was also given a briefing on its capabilities and operations, including what the navy did during the Trump-Kim summit in Singapore last year. President Halimah stressed to the servicemen the navy's important role in protecting Singapore's sea lines of communication and safeguarding maritime security, said a Defence Ministry statement. Playing host to Madam Halimah was Chief of Navy Lew Chuen Hong (behind ME3 Toh). ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

"She emphasised the importance of the RSN to Singapore's peace and prosperity by protecting our sea lines of communication and safeguarding our maritime security," it said in a statement.

During the event, fleet commander, Colonel Aaron Beng, presented a cheque for $50,000 - raised by the annual RSN Charity Heartstrings initiative this year - to the President's Challenge secretariat Ivy Fong.

 

As part of the President's Challenge, the RSN raises funds for the less fortunate through contributions from its active and operationally ready national servicemen.

The RSN's adopted charities include Fernvale Gardens School, Chen Su Lan Methodist Children's Home, and Peacehaven Nursing Home.

RSS Endeavour's navigation officer, Captain Yeo Shang Xuan, 27, introduced Madam Halimah to the functions of the ship's bridge.

"The President showed very keen interest in how our bridge team runs its operations," he said.

"She also asked about how we manage to man the ship with such a lean crew, compared to our foreign counterparts."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 13, 2019, with the headline 'President Halimah tours naval base on first visit to Singapore navy'. Print Edition | Subscribe