Singapore Naval Diving Unit celebrates 50th anniversary, restructures training to strengthen threat response

SINGAPORE – The Republic of Singapore’s Navy Elite Diving Unit (RSN) has restructured its training to strengthen its response to increasingly complex and unconventional threats, Defense Ministry (Mindef) said Thursday, December 9.

The restructured Naval Diving Unit (NDU), which comprises six units, will be tasked with developing capabilities in areas such as underwater security, underwater explosive ordnance disposal, and maritime countering operations. terrorism.

Key skills such as end-to-end boarding capabilities will also be centralized under the NDU to support special operations in the maritime domain.

The restructuring of the NDU comes as the unit celebrated its 50th anniversary with a parade at Sembawang camp on Thursday. Speaking at the event, Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen said technology and expertise are key to expanding the unit’s repertoire and skills, as with the rest of the Singapore Armed Forces ( SAF).

He highlighted the NDU’s use of remote-controlled vehicles to search and locate underwater explosive threats, as well as a new fleet of combat vehicles equipped with advanced remote-controlled weapons systems and communications equipment.

“As the spectrum of security challenges expands to include gray zone threats, NDU has done well to adapt by deploying non-lethal weapon systems such as TASERs, batons and pepper spray. to minimize collateral damage, “he added.

In his speech, Dr Ng praised the professionalism of the NDU and thanked the military for their contributions.

“Special forces, or NDU equivalents in armies around the world, are an elite group, often tasked with carrying out difficult missions that can even change the course of history,” he said.

“Special Forces troops undertake these missions knowing and accepting the high risks, and understanding that they bear a heavy responsibility to be successful, even if they are prepared to sacrifice their lives for their country. “

“Rightly, these special forces are compared to the point of the spear, a sharp, hardened point that can penetrate deep into the enemy,” he added.

The unit was involved in key operations, including the crash of SilkAir flight MI185 in 1997 and the Sentosa cable car incident in 1983, when an oil rig struck the cable car, causing two cable cars to plunge into the water. ‘water.

More recently, the NDU was also deployed from 2009 to 2018 as part of the international efforts to combat RSN piracy in the Gulf of Aden, a strategic waterway for commerce.

“In every mission, NDU soldiers display the highest standards of professionalism and commitment,” said Dr. Ng.

NEW COMBAT BOAT

At the same time, the NDU is also putting into service a new combat vehicle, as part of its development of capabilities for the conduct of maritime security operations (Marsec).

Developed in collaboration with the Defense Science and Technology Agency (DSTA), the 26m long Combatant Craft Large is designed to be highly manoeuvrable and to reach high speeds of over 35 knots.

This allows the craft to operate in crowded environments and quickly reach the target location, Mindef said.

The machine is also equipped with the latest electro-optical sensors so that it can operate day and night.

Equipped with a comprehensive communications suite, the craft will be able to facilitate information exchange and seamless coordination with RSN ships and shore-based headquarters, enabling rapid and efficient responses during operations. ANC

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