MAKING an insignificant spot on the world map, sunny Singapore is the Switzerland of Singapore.
Just like Switzerland, we value our neutrality and independence very highly. Hence National Service, just like Switzerland, and a citizen army, navy and air force. SAF is the force to protect Singapore and to deter aggression.
At the Singapore Discovery center right at the western end of our island, on 18 September, 2009, the Deputy Prme Minister, Adm Teo Chee Hean, who is also the Minister of Defence, opened the new Integrated SAF C4 I exhibit. This shows non classified aspects of the simulated warfare training for SAF personnel to call in air support, artillery and even seaborne firepower from our Stealth ‘radar invisible’ frigates.
Integration of the various Sea, Air and Land units ensures swift victory and neutralisation of enemy assets and troops in the fastest possible time. Such training also minimises human error. When the Apache helo crashes in the simulation wargame, no one really dies and there is no destruction to property. Check out the Apache AH 64’s capabilities including 50mm cannon and laser guided Hellfire missiles. In service with the IDF (Israel Defence Forces) and the US Army and Air Force, air support from the Apache means death & destruction from the sky for the enemy.
A good Commander utilises all the various assets at his disposal including INTEL from our airborne surveillance aircraft to get real time data on enemy troops and assets, so they may tracked and destroyed with minimal casualties to our forces swiftly. The DPM was in a jolly mood as he played the wargame scenario with gusto! Victory was acheived, albeit with high casualties. Later, at lunch of typical Singapore fare including Satay Bee Hoon and Siew Mai Tim Sum, friendly and intelligent Admiral Teo mingled with the VIP guests.
I also took the time to keep my hand in with the M16, and the new made and designed in Singapore Sar 21 selective fire 5.56mm assault rifles on the range. I was pleased to get perfect scores. I stll prefer the M16 for ease of magazine changing, although the soldier friendly sights on the SAR 21 are better. The old warhorse, the combat proven M16 in its 21st century improved models with collapsible butt stock, is still the preferred close combat offensive weapon for many Special Operations Forces including the SAS, SBS, SEALS and Green Berets. Well maintained with good ammo, IAs are rare.
On a weekend, take the MRT to Joo Koon, and just a short 3 minute stroll brings you to SDC. I recommend you spend a whole day here, or at least half a day. There is food and drinks at the nice comfy cafe next to the impressive Army Museum. The view as I dined there, of the lake with a spouting fountain somehow reminded me of Le Jet d’Eau on Lac Leman in Geneva, Switzerland. It was nice too to meet up with my friend, bubbly Gladys of the Singapore Discovery Center. Enjoy!