SINGAPORE - Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) ship Victory-class missile corvette RSS Valour has returned to Tuas Naval Base Monday afternoon, after having been deployed for eight days in the Indonesian-led multinational search operations for AirAsia plane QZ8501.
Receiving RSS Valour at Tuas Naval Base was Chief of Navy Rear-Admiral (RADM) Lai Chung Han and other senior officers from the RSN.
RADM Lai expressed his gratitude to the servicemen deployed and commended their professionalism.
"Our people have given their all and their best during the multinational search operation. They have worked tirelessly amidst challenging weather conditions and I want to commend them for their dedication and commitment. I also want to thank their loved ones for their unwavering support," he said.
With the shift in focus to search efforts underwater, RSS Supreme will depart for Singapore this evening for replenishment after assisting in search operations for more than a week.
To date, the SAF has deployed more than 400 personnel, two RSAF C-130 aircraft, two Super Puma helicopters, five navy ships and a six-man Autonomous Underwater Vehicle team. RSS Persistence, RSS Kallang, MV Swift Rescue and the 6-man Autonomous Underwater Vehicle team will continue search efforts in the Java Sea.
The RSN has welcomed home its men posting on their Facebook page:
"The crew of RSS Valour have now returned home safely to their loved ones.
In the search for #AirAsia flight #QZ8501 for more than a week, many of them had to drop their New Year plans to join the search efforts. And they bade farewell to their loved ones and sailed off on 29 Dec 2014. For the eight days that RSS Valour and her crew spent out at sea, they faced rough waters and poor weather, which made the search even more challenging. But they did not stop trying.
"We knew that we were there to help; and that was what kept me and the ship crew going. Each time we recovered items from the plane, we remembered the passengers, and that we were helping the families get some form of closure." - ME3 Tan Lay Ping, Coxswain of RSS Valour.
To RSS Valour, thank you."