Thoughts For the Week

Finally back after a few hectic months, 2017 will be an exciting year, especially in the maritime genre. The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) celebrates her Golden Jubilee this year, along with the impending commissioning of the Independence-class Littoral Mission Vessel. One of the first initiative is the renaming of Changi Naval Base to RSS Singapura- Changi Naval Base. The RSN has a tradition of naming buildings after ships, RSS Panglima for the Changi Training Base, and HMS Terror in the Naval Diving Unit compound.

RSS Singapura was an ex-Imperial Japanese Navy minelayer, IJN Wakataka. She had a exciting and stellar operational tour during the war, see here. After being transferred from the Malayan naval force to Singapore Naval Volunteer Force, she was the floating navy HQ for two years before being sold for scrap.

Whilst RSS Singapura is a heavy name to bear, Changi Naval Base is in fact THE naval base of Singapore, home of the bulk of RSN’s fleet and default port for foreign naval ships. I feel that RSS Singapura will be used for formal and ceremonial purposes and Changi Naval Base will still be heard for many years to come.

Meanwhile, Singapore and Indonesia had rectified their maritime borders off Batam and Changi. This news I hope will be welcomed by the fly boys from the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) and sailors from the RSN alike. A clarity on the respective borders will give these soldiers greater confidence and clarity on their operating boundaries and reduce any undesired diplomatic notes for intrusion of airspace and waters.

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