[ Media Invite ]
Mention Afghanistan, and Taliban, Osama, insurgency, kidnapping, poverty comes to mind. It is a country torn by war, civil unrest, and constant struggles.
Last Friday, Daddy was invited to SAF’s award presentation ceremony to honour those who have served in Afghanistan (click for details). Operation Blue Ridge started in 2007, and lasted six years.
Our SAF servicemen and women work closely with their coalition partners. The risk is present and soldiers face mortar and IED (improvised explosive devices) threats. It was not uncommon for insurgents to pose as “friendly” before detonating themselves !
Our closest allies Australia and New Zealand forces suffer 40 and 11 deaths respectively. Even the fittest special- forces can fall. Singapore is indeed blessed, that no one came back in boxes.
Is it worth the sacrifices, to place our men and women in a hostile scenario?
What would the families of the servicemen be feeling about their spouse’s safety?
What is Operation Blue Ridge and why is significant?
Video : Why do we need to serve so far away from Singapore?
(Video credit Cyberpioneer)
We got a first hand view of Operation Blue Ridge’s exhibition booths. The location and schedules for the exhibition is shared at end of the blog.
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It was not too long ago when terrorists try to harm Singapore’s peaceful landscape. The world after 911 has changed, no one is really safe from extremism. Singapore’s Armed Forces remains vigilant, but we hope the civilians will be more alert too.
Bamiyan, Kabul, Orugzan and Kandahar are the four sites where SAF personnel were stationed during the six years operation. Besides helping Afghanistan to stand on it’s own, we need to try and stop the export of terrorism.
Protecting Singapore, from 5000Km away.
Afghanistan’s children do not worry about the latest iPhone or Surface devices, nor the most fancy F&B outlets or education. They worry about basic services like safety, clean water and sanitation etc.
Captain Evon Lum demonstrated how she would be helping in an operating theater. She is the first ever SAF servicewoman deployed to Afghanistan. It was interesting to hear her relate the challenges in adapting to local cultures.
From the exhibition panels, we also got a peek at SAF’s multi-dimension hardware and software, which together gave an additional layer of protection for our Servicemen and women in Afghanistan.
During our reservists in Singapore, we cannot wait to remove our helmet and sbo, but it will be suicidal to travel “light” in Afghanistan. The helmet and body armour (including mine resistant boots) could mean the difference between life and death.
Today, our primary 4 kids will learn about the cruelty of war in Social Studies, and why the Japanese occupation was a dark period for Singapore. We hope Singaporeans will not have to go through war again.
On 09 Aug, when we sing Majulah Singapura, sing it loud, sing it proud.
Thank you Singapore Army for the invite, the exhibition was an eye opener for Daddy. We witness how SAF reach out to Afghanistan, and the amount of protection we render to our soldiers.
(Image credit Army Information Centre)
Additional information on OBR :
– Click for infographics on our specialists’ rotations and deployments around Afghanistan.
– Hear from the serviceman’s experience, #6yrs16days
– For indept techical analysis, pop by Senang Diri’s debrief.
– CyberPioneer’s YouTube got six episodes on operations in Afghanistan
Operation Blue Ridge exhibition will be at the following location (from 1000 to 2000) :
1. Location: Toa Payoh Hub (Shelter area)
Date: 10 & 11 Aug 2013
2. Location: Chua Chu Kang (open space opp Mc Donalds & MRT exit at Lot 1
Date: 07 & 08 Sep 2013
3. Location: Takashimaya (Civic Plaza outside of Taka)
Date: 21 & 22 Sep 2013
4. Location: Tampines (Open space opposite the MRT, same place where NS 45
Date: 28 & 29 Sep 2013