Saturday, March 16, 2013
Republic of Singapore Navy Open House 2013: 18 to 19 May 2013, Changi Naval Base
The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) stealth frigate RSS Intrepid goes on show this weekend to drum up awareness for the Navy Open House 2013. This blog had previously alluded to the visit in this post, click here
While her visit to VivoCity has proceeded as forecast, more public relations (PR) mileage could be won from this event as there is almost no visible indication of the forthcoming Navy Open House (NOH).
Is Navy@Vivo the key PR message or is this event a platform for the bigger intent of telling people about the Navy Open House? One could say the latter holds more weight.
An A3 poster, which can be easily done on a laptop and printed out, could indicate to passers-by that the Intrepid's visit to the shopping mall's promenade is a prelude to more exciting things that people can see and experience at the Navy Open House. This should be done quickly as visitors to the area tend to spike on weekends, more so today and Sunday as this is the first weekend of Singapore's March school vacation.
Almost all 7,000 tickets for free tours to the 114-metre long warship - the first stealth frigate made in Singapore - have been given out. But defence buffs can still use the Intepid's port call at the promenade at VivoCity shopping mall to take their cameras for a walk.
Having been in the hospitality business for the past five years, I would humbly suggest that a hotspot Intrepid should look out for is the crowd size. Having personnel stationed at fixed locations is good, provided the visitors cooperate by moving at a steady clip. Many will not. They will take their own sweet time gawking and snapping pictures and choke up narrow corridors and steep ladders. A better solution to keep the crowd line moving may be to group visitors in batches of 15 with one mobile guide accompanying the group from one station to another. You will need a despatcher at the shoreside to push off the next group the moment the first station (helo deck) is ready to take the fresh group of visitors.
Simple math will tell you the number of hours needed to push through all 7,000 pax through the ship, assuming the throughput of xx visitors per hour. This visit is a happy occasion for the RSN, so help visitors leave with a positive impression of the Navy and make them want to visit the Navy Open House by smoothing out potential kinks that could spoil their day.
Another safety hazard is the promenade itself. It is far from the main road and the last thing people expect when they are giving the warship a once over is to be hit by a blooming train (!).
Things to see
Don't miss the exhibition in the shopping mall on Level 1 which has pictures of RSN operations overseas and a selection of NDU firearms. Again, more prominent signage could indicate the upcoming NOH'13.
If you go before noon, the sun will be in the right direction for pictures taken from the Sentosa Boardwalk or from across the water at Resorts World Sentosa's seafront promenade.
Pirate busting mission
The Intrepid, which completed a 102-day counter-piracy operation in the Gulf of Aden, will display additions and alterations made to tailor the warship for its three-month long pirate busting mission codenamed Operation Blue Sapphire Maritime OBS(M).
Many of these mods are visible even without stepping aboard the vessel. A good vantage point is the roof deck on Levels 2 and 3 of VivoCity.
Changes made locally include modifying the missile deck amidships to take a pair of RSN Naval Diving Unit (NDU) rigid hull inflatable boats (RHIBs) and a 7,000-kg capacity crane which was used to launch and recover the RHIBs during in the area of operations. The NDU craft were lowered onto the water from the starboard side of the crane via the crane's extended boom.
The tradeoff for this was the loss of missile launching stations on the starboard side of the frigate. However, the Intrepid kept her port side Harpoon missile tubes, with two missiles flanking each side of the collapsible crane.
Inside the ship, health and recreation facilities were upsized to accommodate the ship's company, an air group for her S-70B Seahawk naval helicopter and warfighters from the navy's crack diving unit who performed VBSS duties in the Gulf of Aden.
Washing machines for the crew to do their laundry, additional triple decker sleeping berths and even the dining schedules in the ship's mess were items that the OBS(M) project team looked at before the warship set sail on 4 September 2012 with 145 Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) personnel on board. This was more than twice her normal peacetime complement of 70 personnel.
Pre-departure modifications include the addition of composite armour plates to the RHIB's forward gun mount and control console as well as acoustic warning devices on either side aft of the enclosed, NBC-protected bridge. The armour panels, supplied by a European company, provide some measure of protection from small arms fire coming from dead ahead of the RHIB.
A pair of Typhoon guns with stealth features were fitted atop the hangar to address small boat threats.
Two RSN stealth frigates - Intrepid and Tenacious - have been modified to Blue Sapphire standard.
If you miss this opportunity to see the Intrepid at VivoCity, make time to see more of Fleet RSN at the Navy Open House 2013. This event, which is free, will take place from 18 to 19 May this year at Changi Naval Base (CNB).
This blog post below has been updated with what you just read:
Navy Open House 2013 Pre-publicity. Click here
Something for you folks to keep in view:
Alert Always: Israel's Iron Dome survives trial by fire. Click here
Radar-equipped aerostats to perform sentry duty. Click here
Posted by David Boey at 12:32 AM