What is the big deal about the Best Unit Competition? Every year since 1969, SAF units are scrutinised for their operational readiness, proficiency and paperwork audited.
Other than boasting rights for a year, the BUC rarely make any difference to the operational readiness and deadliness of our Armed Forces. Winners or non-winners, all SAF units are always ready and deadly.
For many support units, it is usually a testament how busy the unit really were the year before. 127 SQN was awarded the best helicopter squadron after a busy 2015 fighting forest fires and deploying for the annual Exercise Wallaby. It will be harder to evaluate for combat units, in this case fighters, armour and fighting ships. In the air and sea, it has been usually a case of playing musical chair, taking turns clinching the award.
The BUC is no doubt a morale booster for the men and women working hard to ensure the proper paper works are filed and their efforts recognised with a good pat on the back.
On the land (sometimes via the sky) the 1st Commando Battalion has won the Best Combat Unit again for the 30th time. It serves as a strong deterrence message that the all-NS unit is able to keep high operational level.
In the air, 140 SQN has won the Best Fighter Unit for the 13th time, proving again that sometimes it is not the platform but rather the men and women behind the platform that made the difference. 140 SQN almost swept the trophy cabinet in Exercise Hotshot 16, an air to ground exercise that tests the pilot’s skills on delivery unguided munitions.
What many commanders had highlighted on winning the BUC is that they wish to sustain the title and standards, and National Servicemen might just be the answer to it, and keeping the SAF sharp.
Every year, units receive an influx of national servicemen, fresh from school and in the forefront of technology and at the prime of their fitness.
SAF units have to keep up with their training style and keeping up with times and technology, which inevitably keeping the regulars inside relevant. In human factor studies, one of the dirty dozen is complacency, especially so from experienced crew. So the NSFs are in some ways fresh set of eyes and providing new insights to old problems. Regulars are also kept on their toes, to lead by example, upholding excellence.
So, here is the full list of winners. Congratulations to all and thank you for your commitment and excellence!
|Best Combat||1st Commando Battalion|
|Best Infantry/Guards Unit||3rd Battalion, Singapore Guards|
|Best Armour Unit||40th Battalion, Singapore Armoured Regiment|
|Best Artillery Unit||24th Battalion, Singapore Artillery|
|Best Signals Unit||1st Signal Battalion|
|Best Combat Support Unit||38th Battalion, Singapore Combat Engineers|
|Best Combat Engineers Unit||38th Battalion, Singapore Combat Engineers|
|Best Combat Service Support Unit||General Support Ammunition Base|
|Best Fleet Unit||RSS Vigour|
|Best Maritime Security Unit||RSS Bedok|
|Best Naval Engineering & Logistics Unit||Systems Readiness Engineering Centre (Networks and Sensors)|
|Best Fighter Squadron||140 Squadron|
|Best Helicopter Squadron||127 Squadron|
|Best Air Combat Support Squadron||121 Squadron|
|Best Ground Based Air Defence Unit||6 Divisional Air Defence Artillery Battalion|
|Best Control Squadron||208 Squadron|
|Best Air Engineering Unit||807 Squadron|
|Best Air Logistics Unit||707 Squadron|
National Service (NS) Units
|Best NS Infantry/Guards Unit||754th Battalion, Singapore Infantry Regiment
772nd Battalion, Singapore Infantry Regiment
787th Battalion, Singapore Infantry Regiment
735th Battalion, Singapore Guards
611st Battalion, Singapore Infantry Regiment
|Best NS Armour Unit||485th Battalion, Singapore Armoured Regiment|
|Best NS Artillery Unit||288th Battalion, Singapore Artillery|
|Best NS Combat Engineers Unit||324th Battalion, Singapore Combat Engineers|
|Best NS Signals Unit||9th Signal Battalion|
|Best NS Combat Service Support Unit||3rd Combat Support Hospital|
|Best Naval NS Unit||RSS Vengeance Team 1|