Singapore Navy’s Task Group Deploys to Gulf of Aden to Fight Piracy
The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) has deployed a task group in support of international counter-piracy efforts in the Gulf of Aden for the fifth time. Led by Colonel Cheong Kwok Chien, the 151-strong SAF task group comprises the Republic of Singapore Navy Formidable-class stealth frigate, RSS Tenacious, with a Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) Sikorsky S-70B Seahawk naval helicopter on board.
During its three-month deployment, the SAF task group will operate under the ambit of the multinational Combined Task Force (CTF) 151 to undertake counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden.
Officiating at the send-off ceremony held at Changi Naval Base on Monday (March 17), Chief of Navy Rear-Admiral (RADM) Ng Chee Peng underscored the SAF’s steadfastness in fulfilling its commitment to support international counter-piracy efforts, with Singapore being “a responsible member of the international community and a maritime nation”. He emphasised the importance of the mission to safeguard shipping and the freedom of navigation in the Gulf of Aden.
He said, “These piracy attacks disrupt key sea lines of communication and maritime trade, as well as affect the safety of seafarers. This has a direct impact on countries such as Singapore that are dependent on maritime trade.”
Prior to this deployment, the SAF has deployed four task groups, comprising a Landing Ship Tank with two Super Puma Helicopters in 2009, 2010 and 2011, and a Formidable-class stealth Frigate with one Sikorsky S-70B naval helicopter in 2012. The SAF has also deployed an RSAF Fokker-50 Maritime Patrol Aircraft in 2011. This year’s deployment will mark the second time a Formidable-class stealth Frigate and a Sikorsky S-70B naval helicopter are deployed to the Gulf of Aden. In addition, the SAF also commanded CTF 151 in 2010, 2011 and 2013.
|RSS TENACIOUS SPECIFICATIONS|
|Complement||71, excluding air crew detachment of approx. 19|
Press Release, March 19, 2014, Image: Singapore govt