Protecting Maritime Hub Singapore: Heng Chee How

January 14, 2021 – Senior Minister of State for Defence Heng Chee How visited the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) at RSS Singapura – Changi Naval Base today. During the visit, Heng was briefed on how the RSN is strengthening its sharp-edged capabilities, investing in more holistic logistics support, and enhancing training for its personnel to ensure that the RSN can continue to protect Singapore’s waters and sea lines of communication.

During the visit, Heng interacted with personnel from the RSN on board Formidable-class frigate, RSS Formidable and Archer-class submarine, RSS Archer. He toured the RSN’s maintenance workshop and was updated on how the engineers tapped on their expertise and experience to develop new approaches and systems to improve the operational readiness of the ships. He also viewed how the RSN trains in high-fidelity simulators ashore for a wide range of missions and scenarios, including those that cannot be replicated at sea.

Speaking after the visit, Heng highlighted the important role that the RSN plays in protecting Singapore’s maritime trade. He said, “Singapore is a maritime hub and this hub status is absolutely crucial, not only for our economic prosperity but our very survival. About 80 per cent of the goods and supplies come into Singapore, through the sea. So, if these lanes are blocked, our prosperity, and even our security and survival will be greatly challenged. In this regard, the role played by the RSN is absolutely crucial.”

Heng also commented on the strong backend support provided, “I saw ongoing training, and the (simulation) systems that are used and how that added to the realism. I also saw how logistical support is continually fine-tuned to enable the fighting capability to be kept up in all scenarios. Most of all, I saw the commitment and proficiency of our sailors as they undertake training and commit themselves to defending our sea lanes and security of Singapore.”

Mr Heng was accompanied by Chief of Navy, Rear-Admiral (RADM) Aaron Beng, and was hosted by Fleet Commander RADM Saw Shi Tat for the visit.

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