Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Singapore DPM Teo's Letter to Australian Defence Minister Stephen Smith

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Teo Chee Hean's Letter to Australian Defence Minister Stephen Smith
Source: Singapore Ministry of Defence
Posted: 04 Jan 2011, 1800 hours (Time is GMT +8 hours)
3 January 2011

The Honorable Stephen Smith MP
Minister for Defence

Dear Stephen,

I write to express our empathy with the Australian government and people as you grapple with the devastating floods in Queensland. Our sympathies go out particularly to the people of Rockhampton who over the past twenty years, have warmly welcomed soldiers from the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) who by kind permission of the Australian Government have trained at the Australian Defence Force’s Shoalwater Bay Training Area.

SAF Chief of Defence Force (CDF) Lieutenant-General Neo Kian Hong has over the New Year weekend conversed with CDF Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston to express sympathies and to let ACM Houston know that the SAF stands ready to offer any assistance or support that may be needed to bring relief to those affected. In particular, LG Neo informed ACM Houston that should there be a need, RSAF Super Puma helicopters currently located at RAAF Base Oakey in Queensland are available to be deployed to render assistance.

We understand that the local authorities with the assistance of the Australian Federal Government and the ADF have matters well in hand, but I would just like to let you know that our soldiers and airmen are ready to render any assistance needed if only to show our empathy and support for the people of Rockhampton and as a gesture of thanks and friendship to them for their welcome and hospitality over the years.

May I take this opportunity to wish you and your family all the very best for the year ahead.

Yours sincerely,

Teo Chee Hean

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