Minister for Defence Presents OSM to 101 Singapore Armed Forces Personnel


Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen presented the Overseas Service Medal (OSM) to 101 Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) personnel at a ceremony held this afternoon, in recognition of their contributions to the international counter-piracy efforts in the Gulf of Aden (GoA).

Speaking at the presentation ceremony, Dr Ng emphasised Singapore’s commitment to support international efforts in maintaining the safety and security of key sea lanes. He said: “As a responsible member of the international community and a major maritime nation, Singapore understands why it is important that sea routes continue to be free to navigation and that trade routes are safe. When freedom of navigation is threatened and where we can make a useful contribution, we will do our part to counter piracy. This is why we are in the Gulf of Aden: to assist the shipping community and maintain maritime trade.” Dr Ng also commended the medal recipients for displaying high levels of commitment, professionalism and competence in carrying out their missions.

Among the medal recipients were 53 SAF personnel, comprising aircrew, ground support crew and logistics personnel, who were part of the first Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) Fokker-50 Maritime Patrol Aircraft (F-50 MPA) detachment which supported the international counter-piracy efforts in the GoA. The F-50 MPA, which was based in Djibouti from April to July 2011, operated under the ambit of the multinational Combined Task Force (CTF) 151, conducting air surveillance to provide CTF 151 with an enhanced sea situation picture, as well as performing coordinated search operations to locate and investigate suspicious vessels. Also receiving the medals were 48 SAF personnel who served in the command team of the CTF 151 between April and June 2011. This is the second time that Singapore has led CTF 151. The CTF 151 disrupts piracy in the GoA by conducting counter-piracy operations alongside naval forces from the European Union Naval Forces Somalia (EU NAVFOR), the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) as well as navies from other countries assigned to protect vessels operating in the GoA.

Guests present at the ceremony included family members of the medal recipients, Minister of State for Defence and Education Lawrence Wong, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Defence and National Development Dr Maliki Osman, Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant-General Neo Kian Hong, Chief of Air Force Major-General Ng Chee Meng and Chief of Navy Rear Admiral Ng Chee Peng, along with other senior officers from the SAF.

Source: MINDEF, August 19, 2011;