SAF recognised for its contributions in Afghanistan

SAF recognised for its contributions in Afghanistan
Director of Joint Operations BG Chia Choon Hoong (right) interacting with Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott (left) and Chief of the Defence Force General David John Hurley during the ceremony.

The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) was acknowledged for its contributions in Oruzgan, Afghanistan alongside other members of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

They were honoured at a ceremony held at the Multinational Base - Tarin Kowt in Oruzgan on October 28. The event also marked the closure of the Provincial Reconstruction Team, which directed Australia's civilian-led development efforts in Oruzgan.

The ceremony was attended by Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Defence Minister Senator David Johnston, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and Chief of the Defence Force General David John Hurley.

Singapore's Director of Joint Operations Brigadier General (BG) Chia Choon Hoong represented the SAF at the ceremony. Other members of the ISAF, including representatives from Afghanistan, the United States, Netherlands, New Zealand, France and Slovakia were also present.

Speaking after the ceremony, BG Chia said that the SAF was proud to have contributed to the global fight against terrorism and help the people of Afghanistan rebuild their country.

He said: "The SAF is proud to have been part of this international community, which has contributed to the reconstruction of Afghanistan, and the enhancement of global security. On behalf of the SAF, I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the ADF for their close friendship, support and partnership during our six-year deployment in Afghanistan."

The SAF has deployed close to 500 personnel to Afghanistan since May 2007 as part of Singapore's contributions to the the international stabilisation and reconstruction efforts there.  It concluded its mission in June 2013 after six years of efforts.

Operating as part of the ISAF, SAF personnel have contributed their expertise in humanitarian assistance and reconstruction efforts, force protection, imagery analyses, as well as in the training of the Afghanistan National Security Forces.

- chenj@sph.com.sg

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