MINDEF - Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Singapore

07/01/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/30/2020 23:17

SAF Personnel and Singaporeans Renew Commitment to Defence Amid COVID-19 ..

The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) commemorated SAF Day at a ceremony officiated by Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen at the SAFTI Military Institute (SAFTI MI) Ceremonial Hall this morning.

In view of the COVID-19 situation this year, an SAF Day ceremony was held in place of a parade. Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant-General Melvyn Ong led SAF personnel in reciting the SAF pledge to reaffirm their loyalty to Singapore and their commitment to its defence. Operationally Ready National Servicemen (NSmen), Full-time National Servicemen and Regulars joined the ceremony using video-conferencing tools and video livestreaming via the Ministry of Defence's social media channels. Companies and organisations such as the Association for Small and Medium Enterprises, HP Inc Singapore, Singapore Manufacturing Federation and various trade chambers also held their own in-house rededication ceremonies with NSmen and their civilian colleagues to mark SAF Day, or tuned in to the ceremony via video-conferencing and social media livestreaming.

Delivering the SAF Day Message at the ceremony, Dr Ng commended the men and women of the SAF for carrying out their duties diligently and effectively in the national fight against COVID-19 - from contact tracing operations and health surveillance to managing recovery and quarantine facilities for COVID-19 patients. He said, 'These were not tasks that SAF soldiers had been trained for, but nonetheless our men and women rose to the occasion and successfully completed every mission assigned. Because of their professionalism and dedication, and close collaborations with other contributing agencies, Singapore's public healthcare system has been preserved and many Singaporean lives were saved.'

Dr Ng added that the SAF must be strong and vigilant to safeguard Singapore's interests and protect Singaporeans against harm in these uncertain times where the disruption of existing norms and weakening of ties between countries will increase the unpredictability and instability of the regional and global orders. As the world grappled with the aftermath of the destruction wrought by COVID-19, existing threats such as terrorism, cyber-attacks, or maritime disputes have not gone away either. 'The SAF will have to remain alert to this wider spectrum of threats and be nimble to respond to each threat decisively... Let us face the future together with confidence and optimism despite the global pandemic. A strong SAF provides that solid foundation to look forward to a brighter future,' said Dr Ng.

Dr Ng also presented the State Colours to this year's Best Combat Unit - 1st Commando Battalion. The Chiefs of Army, Navy and Air Force will present the 29 Best Unit and Best National Service Unit awards in separate ceremonies later today.

Also present at the ceremony were the three Service Chiefs.