Minister Presents SAF Overseas Service Medal to 279 Servicemen
Minister of State for Defence and Education Lawrence Wong presented the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Overseas Service Medal (OSM) to 279 servicemen at a ceremony held this morning at Changi Naval Base.
The medal was awarded in recognition of their contributions to the international counter-piracy efforts in the Gulf of Aden (GoA).The recipients were part of the returning SAF task group which operated as part of Combined Task Force 151. The task group comprised of RSS Endeavour, a Landing Ship Tank with two Super Pumas (SP) on board, that was deployed to GoA in August this year.
During his speech, Mr Wong commended the high state of readiness shown by the task group when it successfully disrupted the attacks by suspected pirates on merchant vessels earlier last month. He said, “This bears testament to the high standards of professionalism in the SAF – you have proven yourselves competent, effective and operationally ready. Your performance has also impressed others who have been watching you, and we have received positive feedback and accolades from other professional navies including the Combined Maritime Forces HQ.” Mr Wong also lauded the servicemen on their dedication and hard work as well as the personal sacrifices made in order to be part of this mission. He added: “All of you have shown deep personal commitment to the mission and the SAF. All of you stand as a shining example to others.”
When asked about the contributions of the SAF task group to counter-piracy efforts, Commander Combined Maritime Forces Vice Admiral Mark Fox said: “They performed tremendously in executing counter-piracy operations. Their professionalism and commitment significantly contributed to our regional security and stability by ensuring the safety of transit and freedom of navigation.” This is the third task group that the SAF has deployed to the GoA since April 2009.
Naval Today Staff, December 15, 2011; Image: mindef