Sunday, March 9, 2014

Search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Summary of Singapore Armed Forces assets joining forces with ATM

20:15 hrs update
Panglima Angkatan Tentera (ATM), Jeneral Tan Sri Zulkifeli Mohd Zin, updated the media on assets deployed for the search for MAS Flight MH370.

Aircraft: 26 aircraft fixed and rotary-wing
11 TUDM
1 TLDM
5 APMM (Agensi Penguatkuasaan Maritim Malaysia, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency)
1 PDRM (Polis Di-Raja Malaysia, Royal Malaysian Police)
1 United States
2 x Royal Australian Air Force (1st due midnight tonight, 2nd on Monday morning)
1 Royal Thai Air Force MPA
1 x RTAF Super Lynx
2 x Republic of Singapore Air Force (see below)
1 x Tentera Nasional Indonesia MPA

Ships: 40 ships
14 TLDM
13 APMM
13 foreign vessels comprising:
1 United States Navy
3 People's Republic of China
3 Republic of Singapore Navy (see below)
5 Tentera Nasional Indonesia
1 Royal Thai Navy 


13:15 hrs update
Summary of Malaysian and international assets involved in the search for MH370. Information from Panglima ATM "live" press conference. PATM noted the assets listed below exclude those from Vietnam.

Aircraft: 22 aircraft fixed and rotary-wing
11 TUDM
1 TLDM
5 APMM (Agensi Penguatkuasaan Maritim Malaysia, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency)
1 PDRM (Polis Di-Raja Malaysia, Royal Malaysian Police)
1 United States
1 Royal Thai Air Force
2 x Republic of Singapore Air Force (see below)

Ships: 40 ships
14 TLDM
13 APMM
13 foreign vessels comprising:
1 United States Navy
3 People's Republic of China
3 Republic of Singapore Navy (see below)
5 Tentera Nasional Indonesia
1 Royal Thai Navy

Possibility of aircraft turn back. ATM forces searching in Malacca Strait and landward side of Peninsular Malaysia.


ATM+SAF
Summary of Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) assets deployed for largest joint operation with the Angkatan Tentera Malaysia (ATM,  Malaysian Armed Forces):

Republic of Singapore Air Force
1 x S-70B Seahawk, naval helicopter aboard Steadfast
2 x C-130 Hercules

Republic of Singapore Navy
1 x RSS Steadfast, stealth frigate
1 x RSS Vigour, missile corvette. Includes Scan Eagle UAV
1 x Swift Rescue, submarine rescue vessel, includes deep-diving submersible
Naval Diving Unit aboard Swift Rescue


This morning, as Singaporeans woke to a bright and sunny Sunday, two Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) warships raced northeast at best possible speed.

The Navy men and women who serve aboard the stealth frigate RSS Steadfast and the missile corvette RSS Vigour had spent much of Saturday preparing their warships for fast and urgent duty after a Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Boeing 777-200 with 239 POB disappeared without a trace off Vietnam.

The RSN activated its standby forces while Singapore slept. Duty personnel were mustered before dawn and off they went.

Even as the warships were prepared for operations, the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) raised its C-130 Hercules search teams from one aircraft to two, thereby helping Malaysia cover more sea space, more quickly by expanding the search grids.

The speed at which the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) has responded is commendable. The cooperation between ATM and SAF is unprecedented.

From mere spectators, SAF personnel will soon be in the thick of the action some 700km northeast of Singapore as search and rescue teams get closer to pinpointing what happened to MAS Flight MH370.

What we do not see are Singapore Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) and Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) staffers working quietly behind the scenes with their Malaysian counterparts and the Malaysian High Commission in Singapore to put together what is shaping up to be Singapore's biggest contribution to a Malaysia-led operation.

Hardware aside, MINDEF/SAF is keenly aware deployed forces will need psychological support should search and locate evolve into the grim search and recovery phase. Such specialised skill sets are being assembled as you read this.

Embarked aboard Steadfast is a S-70B Seahawk naval helicopter from the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) 123 Squadron. Her date with her mothership was made possible by Air Force engineers and groundcrew from Sembawang Air Base who are responsible for keeping these birds mission-ready. Those mission orders have been received and acknowledged and the bird has flown the coop.

Mothership and NH are fresh from the Eksesais Malapura naval manoeuvres with the Tentera Laut Diraja Malaysia (TLDM, Royal Malaysian Navy), during which a TLDM Super Lynx cross decked aboard Steadfast. The interoperability showcased during Eks Malapura will now be put to the test for real as search operations unfold in the South China Sea.

Empty berths in Tuas Naval Base, where Vigour is based, and Changi Naval Base, where Steadfast and the submarine rescue vessel, Swift Rescue, are usually found, now stand empty.

All are presently underway, trailing wakes of white water as they race northeast to join forces with TLDM units.

We wish them well.

3 comments:

Ridza said...

thank you Singapore and the other country for your support.

ozzychua said...

You make Us Proud. Godspeed.

David Lim said...

I'm glad that our national assets are being utilised for a worthy albeit sad cause. My sincere sympathies goes out to the families and friends...