President Halimah Yacob pays first visit to Republic of Singapore Navy

Remote video URL
President Halimah Yacob (in green) and Mr. Mohammed Abdullah Alhabshee (third from right) visit the bridge of the Landing Ship Tank RSS Endeavour as part of their tour of the RSS Singapura - Changi Naval Base on April 12, 2019. Accompanying them are Chief of Navy Rear Admiral (Two-Star) Lew Chuen Hong (fourth from right) and Lieutenant Colonel Teo Swee Pieu (second from right), Commanding Officer of RSS Endeavour. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

SINGAPORE - President Halimah Yacob toured the RSS Singapura - Changi Naval Base on Friday (April 12), 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 utility 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 Chief of Navy, Rear-Admiral Lew Chuen Hong. The Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant-General Melvyn Ong, was also present.

She 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.

"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 Garden 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."

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.