SINGAPORE - Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen presented the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Overseas Service Medal (OSM) to 193 servicemen at a ceremony held earlier today at Changi Naval Base, in recognition of their contributions to the international counter-piracy efforts in the Gulf of Aden (GoA).
In his speech, Dr Ng highlighted how militaries today are often called upon to undertake a wide spectrum of operations to safeguard global commons. He said: "Livelihoods would be severely affected in Singapore and our entire region if there is no freedom and safety of navigation in these vital sea routes. This is the reason that the SAF actively participates in this international effort against the scourge of piracy in the Gulf of Aden."
Dr Ng also commended the servicemen for their professionalism and dedication to the mission, observing that the multi-national counter-piracy efforts in the GoA have reaped tangible results and that the SAF's contributions have been recognised by coalition partners.
The OSM recipients were part of the fifth SAF task group deployed to the GoA under the ambit of the multinational Combined Task Force 151, from March to June 2014. The task group comprised the Republic of Singapore Navy Formidable-class stealth frigate, RSS Tenacious, with a Republic of Singapore Air Force Sikorsky S-70B Seahawk naval helicopter on board. It completed its mission with no successful pirate attacks in its area of responsibility.