Monday, November 9, 2009

In A-stan: Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister/Defence Minister

Posted on the Singapore Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) website today. Note that the date of the visit has been left out of the MINDEF statement, indicating that specific details about the visit have probably been kept hush hush to preserve opsec.

Note also the pair of Singapore Artillery Arthur radars deployed behind the hesco barriers. Pity can't see the MID plates. : (

The Arthur Weapon Locating Radars do not provide 360-degree coverage, but their ability to keep a potential fire arc under electronic surveillance enables troops at the base to concentrate resources on blind spots.

The Singapore Artillery's concept of operations would usually see firefinder radars slaved to one or more 155mm heavy artillery gun detachments. Fire data processed by Arthur is transmitted to 155mm battery commanders for counter-battery fire missions. The radars are designed to track the trajectory of rockets, artillery shells and mortar bombs and can plot their source even before the first round impacts its target.

In the Afghanistan deployment, the Arthur radars have been deployed mainly for a defensive role of providing early warning to troops at their forward operating base.

Without the Arthur radars, troops at the base would often realise they are under attack only after the first rounds impact the base. The Arthur team therefore provides the essential early warning for troops to take cover.

I have the highest respect for the SA gunners, the SOTF elements, signallers and combat medics who made the deployment to Oruzgan possible and wish them well.
The Security Command (SECCOM) of the Singapore Police Force ensured the security of Minister Teo's entourage during the trip deep into one of Afghanistan's restive provinces.

Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister, Teo Chee Hean, Visits Singapore Armed Forces Troops in Afghanistan

Posted: 09 Nov 2009, 1325 hours (Time is GMT +8 hours)

Firefinders: Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence, Mr Teo Chee Hean, greets (from left) Major Jackson Wu, Major Collins Pang and Lieutenant-Colonel Percival Goh during his meeting with Singapore Armed Forces troops deployed in Afghanistan. The person in uniform to Mr Teo's immediate right is from the Singapore Police Force's SECCOM close protection team. These police officers are trained for VIP protection.

Swift and Precise: Major Vincent Koh, detachment commander of the Singapore Armed Force (SAF) Arthur Weapon Locating Radar (WLR) team, updating Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister, Mr Teo Chee Hean, on the team's combat deployment in the Afghan theatre. Behind them is one of the two Arthur WLRs deployed in Tarin Kowt, Oruzgan Province, to detect, track and pinpoint the source of incoming rocket and tube artillery projectiles, as well as mortar bombs. The swift and precise data processed by the Arthur team gives troops the vital early warning to take cover in the event of harassment fire.

Last week, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Teo Chee Hean visited Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) troops deployed in Afghanistan to get a first-hand feel of their operations in Oruzgan and Bamiyan province. He was accompanied by Chief of Army Major-General Neo Kian Hong and other senior SAF officers.

During the visit, Mr Teo met the SAF Weapon Locating Radar (WLR) team at their operating base in Tarin Kowt, the provincial capital of Oruzgan. Mr Teo was briefed on the WLR team's tasks and responsibilities by Team Commander MAJ Vincent Koh Han Seah, and visited the team at their deployment site. Mr Teo interacted with the SAF troops, who shared with him their operational experiences during the two months they had been there.

Speaking to the 17-man WLR team, Mr Teo emphasised the important role that they were playing in Afghanistan and Singapore's overall contributions to international security operations.

Mr Teo said: "I can see the tough and challenging conditions you operate under many miles from home. The SAF's deployments to Oruzgan and Bamiyan are important for the people of Afghanistan and are a part of Singapore's overall contribution to international security operations. I have full confidence that you will continue to do Singapore and the SAF proud in carrying out your duties vigilantly and professionally."

The WLR team was deployed to Tarin Kowt in September this year to provide early warning of rocket attacks and enhance force protection measures for International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) personnel at the base. There will be a rotation of teams in January 2010 with the second team taking over till June 2010.

While in Tarin Kowt, Mr Teo also visited the field hospital where a 20-man SAF medical team was deployed from November 2008 to May this year to provide emergency and trauma care and primary healthcare. The SAF will be deploying a medical and surgical team to this field hospital in Oruzgan in the coming months.

Mr Teo also visited the Winter Deployment Team (WDT) in Bamiyan led by Lieutenant-Colonel Andrew Chan. The 3-man WDT, deployed in November 2009, serves as part of the New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team, and works closely with the local government in the delivery and distribution of humanitarian aid donated by the SAF to the local populace.

The WDT will be in Bamiyan till May next year. The WDT replaced a 6-man construction engineering team deployed to Bamiyan from April to October this year for 6-months, to supervise the construction of a Paediatric and Women's Ward extension for the Bamiyan Provincial Hospital, as well as a security wall around the Provincial Administrative Building.

The SAF has made deployments to Afghanistan since 2007 as part of Singapore's contributions to multinational stabilisation and reconstruction efforts there.


goat89 said...

Wow. He's there eh?
Still, I am damn proud of the men and women over there in A-stan. The contingent in Kamp Holland, Oruzgan are bound to see many high octane stuff, after all the Cloggies and Diggers made a name for themselves there. I dearly wish to join the contingent there, though the chances are EXTREMELY low. Who would take a fairly young conscript? I pray for the ever vigilance and speediness of the SAF contingents in A-stan. Do your best and most. Bring us pride.

Anonymous said...

There's a need for the word Singapore under the Singapore flag worn on the left shoulder.

goat89 said...

Its official procedure is it? Didnt notice it till you pointed it out. ><

Izwan Abu Shama said...

i remember noticing the Singapore badge on SPF and SCDF uniforms in pixes of their overseas ops but not on SAF uniforms. any pixes we know of shows this on the No.4 or the Pixeled 4?