A sneak peep behind RSS Endurance

[ Media Invite ]

RSS Endurance will be berthed at Vivocity from Thu to Sun, as part of SAF50 celebrations. While most families will enjoy the photography opportunities with handsome divers (doing boat PT Wow!) or Fun ride on the Fast Craft Utility(FCU), not many are aware of the amount of work behind the scenes.

A pity there are no RHIB rides this round ( drifting on the high sea).

RSS Endurance (LST) is the RSN (Republic Singapore Navy)’s largest surface vessel, measuring 141m. But it is a technological feat that this vessel is manned by a crew of 80.

(Image credit RSN fanpage)

To move RSS Endurance to Vivocity, it has to set sail from Changi Naval base, then pickup a chopper near the southern islands. As we cruise along the breakwater, try to spot RSN’s assets missile boats, frigates and submarine. Those sharp eyes one will notice a hovercraft too.

Colonel Chew asks us, why do we need a Navy? My kids might assume that Navy “toys” are used for Open House and Vivocity only :p

We all know about Singapore’s busy sea lanes, everyday our ports remain shut, we lose $2 Bil. Trans-shipment goods, crude oil, Ipads and even our basic necessties everything will be stuck.

Singapore is an island, you can imagine the daily challenges faced by MPA (Maritime Port Authority), Police Coast Guards and Navy to regulate and protect our sea lanes against undesirable elements.

The signages bear witness to RSS Endurance’s international operations.
– OBH (Operation Blue Heron, East Timor)
– OBO (Operation Blue Orchid, Iraq)
– OFE (Operation Flying Eagle, Bandang Aceh, Meulaboh)
– OBS (Operation Blue Sapphire, Gulf of Aden)

We had a few opportunities to pose with the 76mm OTO.

At Vivocity, try to identify the lines and gadgets used to secure the choppers. The Endurance’s deck can accommodate two medium lift helicopters(Super Pumas), or one Chinook.

Roll call, we are each assigned to a raft. Just in case the SOS siren sounds out, make sure you know the difference between Starboard (right) and Port (Left)!

Other photos, crew preparing the lines and anchors.

At some corners of the deck, we can smell fried chicken wings! Must be lunch time.

First impression, the galley (kitchen) has lower headroom, aspiring cooks above 1.75m will need to hunch a lot.

Cooks really work around the clock to ensure the crew is well fed. On long voyages when everyone miss home, the cooks will prepare your favourite chicken rice and prawn noodles! Lastly, every sailor might have two roles, some cooks are paramedic or man the machine guns! Follow Seetoh as he went food tasting on RSS Formidable

Nasi Lemak is delicious! Enough to make some poster boy go Emo. I am curious to find out how the cooks prepare the meals in rough seas, when the vessel is tiling left and right.

Those 1.8m and above will have some concerns with headroom, everyone need to get use to narrow and steep stairways. I am wondering whether RSN will add height-restriction in their recruitment ads for Archer and Challenger :p

The highlight for our trip must be the Helo-Ops with the Super Puma.

After RSS Endurance has anchored near Raffles Lighthouse, the Super Puma practiced disembarking (landing) on the LST’s deck.

The professionals made it look easy, landing the Super Puma (Air Force) on the RSS Endurance (Navy). It takes years of integration between Navy and Air Force to reach this level of competency.

Imagine the challenge when you are trying to land two Super Pumas in rough seas! Pilots and Sailors must really understand each other and speak in a common language.
Singapore Navy and Air Force integration

Video : Super Puma landing on RSS Endurance

One of RSS Endurance’s fellow tourist is a talented artist!

(image credit XinLi Instagram and Facebook)

A few levels under the deck, the dry dock has already launched the FCUs. Did you notice that the “fence” is down during Helo-Ops? It is hard work to place the fence up again.

Balloting for Fast Craft Utility (FCU) rides is still available onsite at Vivocity.
– Thu Fri 3-6pm
– Sat 9-11am, 12.30 to 2.30pm, 4 to 6pm
– Sun 9am to 12pm, 3pm to 6 pm

Your kids will love the joy ride, just make sure you do not playback Private Ryan’s beaching scene the night before.

The dry dock will be flooded again, when the vessels are ready to bring the families on a cruise.

The bigger FCUs will be inside the dock, while the smaller ones need to be winched to the side. Winching is tough work and demands a lot of coordination, even when the water is calm!

The air crew shares their stories and memories. A few of them were also involved in the recent Air Asia QZ8501 recovery. I am surprised that workhorse Super Pumas have already been in service for 30 years!

Thank you RSS Endurance for allowing us to sail along, you are flying our flags high!

Group photo. I want to take this opportunity to thanks the crew of RSS Endurance. Everyone was busy but they always have time to answer our queries. Thank you Navy and Air Force for the cool invitation πŸ™‚

(Image credit Jerome)

This Thu to Sun, SAF and RSN members will be busy manning their stations. Instead of enjoying their Valentine’s date, they want to ensure more families get to enjoy their SAF50 outing.

It will be crowded, there will be queues.
Show your support, show your appreciation!
Kudos team NAVY!

You can find out more about SAF50@Vivo events at SAF50 website and Navy Fanpage. Name the new Littoral Mission Vessels (replacement for 11 Fearless-class Patrol Vessels) and stand to win attractive prizes.

More tips :
– RSS Endurance is the first to reach Melabouh after the 2004 Tsunami
– impress the sailors by saying “I need to use the HEADS”
– ladies leave your mini skirts at home, it can be windy and stairs are steep

– this send-off album always make me emo (husbands and wife separated for 3 months, little girl crying “Daddy don’t go”). The sacrifices undertaken, so that Singapore continues to enjoy peace
** Need to know more about Singapore Navy’s transformation? Read Navy’s ebook (page 77 is interesting)
– Read our SAF Open houses (when will we get to dive with the subs?)
– More RSS Endurance photos loaded on our Fanpage album

School holiday children activities

Friday is the last day for Boon Wee (P4) and his exams. Boon Kang (P2) does not have exams, but they have something call mastery tests. Anyway, it has been a stressful week for him, and more so for Mummy.

We are looking forward to the weekends, and the coming holidays. Let us share some school holiday children activities, and our holiday itinerary πŸ™‚

1. 20th May dateline – Have you balloted for 2013 NDP Parade?
We have never been lucky for the last 4 NDPs, but we heard 2012’s winners will not be allow to vote. Maybe we will get to watch NDP 2013 together as a family.
—> http://ndp.org.sg

(image credit)

2. 20th May dateline – Gardens by the Bay (GBTB) is celebrating Father’s day with a photography workshop. Registration ends 20th May, click to register. ( A $15 fees applies)
—> GBTB website.

Tulips will be on display till 20th May. Read our own planting experience.

3. Movies anyone? Our boys are insisting that we go watch Epic, Iron Man 3, Fast And Furious 6 and maybe Monster Inc 2. Too many shows !

4. Navy Open house (NOH) sails on 18.19May from 0900 to 1900.
Expect Gunboats, missiles and cruises, be prepared for HOT weather.
Click for FAQ about NOH 2013. The only way to access Changi Naval Base is via shuttle buses from Expo Hall 3 ( Taxi and walk-in will not be entertained)
—> SengkangBabies preview.

5. For those curious about our heritage, culture, and history, some museums will be FREE from 18th May onwards. Yeah !
—> I love Museums fanpage.

6. Birdpark has a “1 for 1” ticket promotion from 24May to 30Jun. We heard Dr Squawk and Dora will be waiting for kids too. More details here.

(image credit)

7. Zoo is 40 years old ! Those born in 1973 can bring four friends and all will get 40% discount !! (double WOW) Details here.

Fancy being a rescue ranger? Zoolympix challenges the kids with games and memory activities.

(image credit)

8. Join Naked Hermit Crab as they bring you closer to nature at Pasir Ris and we love Chek Jawa.
—> http://nakedhermitcrabs.blogspot.sg

9. Still on nature, are you curious about how wildlife strives in Sungei Buloh? Before you head North, there are online cameras to monitor the wildlife at Sungei Buloh now ! Click for more Earth Day photos.
—> https://www.sbwr.org.sg

10. Anyone into Playmobil? Sentosa got some giant models waiting for the kids. More events and promotions await on the southern island. Playmobil old photos last Dec.
—> Upcoming Sentosa Events

(image credit)

11. We did a comparison of Singapore’s 3 latest attractions (River Safari, SEA Aquarium and Adventure Cove Waterpark). Maybe your kid/s might be interested to rub shoulders with Panda, Stingray, Dolphins or Manatees?

We have just listed 10 activities for the coming holidays, more than 100 Fun itineraries await, just pop by SengkangBabies’ fun-directory πŸ™‚

SengkangBabies bring you Fun !