Thanks to Mindef, a few of us were able to visit the secretive Singapore Naval Diving Unit (NDU) in Sembawang Camp. I have heard about their tough training but never really see it myself. The visit has made me understand the pride behind them.
The first thing that we saw when we turned into the camp is this statue. According to them, the frog represents them. The spear represents the weapon that they use. The wings represent that NDU has airborne capabilities. The bomb represents the bomb disposal department. One leg in the sea and the other on the land represents that they are equally capable in the sea and on land.
From far, the NDU looks like a school compound. Their motto: “Nothing Stands in Our Way”.
Actually, the visit is for grassroots leaders. Mindef thought they we (bloggers) might be interested, and YES, we are definitely interested. Our first stop is the auditorium. NDU CO took the time to explain to us their unit and missions, from helping out in the Tsunami in 2004 to the current maritime patrol.
Pool Dynamic Display
Next, we had the chance to visit the pool where most of their training were held. We had the honor to watch a pool dynamic display from them.
And the crowd.
These displays were based on their actual training. One of their training requires the trainee to remain calm in the water even when their hands and legs are bounded. They are required to submerge themselves to the bottom of the pool and kick themselves up to catch a breath.
Next, under the water, without any breathing apparatus, they were required to perform a somersault.
Finally, they were required to pick up the goggles with their mouth.
Next, a demonstration of how to recover themselves from an attack. This time, one of the 2 girls from the NDU performed. An “attacker” came from the top and messed up the diving gears.
She has to remain calm and put back her goggles and adjust back the equipment.
Next, another attack scenario. This time, it is more severe. The air tank has been stripped from the back and all the adjustments tampered.
Again, in such a situation, the person has to keep his cool and put back everything.
The next display showed off their diving gears and weapon.
Following that, the demolition team. They are demonstration how they detonate a bomb underwater.
Here is a demonstration when the bomb needs to be shifted to a better location.
Activating the floatation device.
Once it starts to float, the diver will move away.
After the display, we were able to meet those involved in the display.
Obviously, some of them were not used to the limelight (everyone is taking pictures of/with them).
Poster boys from the NDU.
A few quick shots around the pool.
Next, we were ushered to a training shed for some briefing. Yes, there was a ride on the RHIBS (Rigid-hulled inflatable boats).
Prepping the RHIBs.
Here is my ticket.
The speed is around 80km/hr on the boat. It may seems slow if this speed is on the road. However, when you are on the RHIBS standing with just a seat belt, the feeling is definitely different.
A group shot.
A training facility at the jetty.
This is the best part when the boat make a turn.
The Singapore flag flying against the wind.
Another group after the fantastic ride.
Here is a video on the RHIBS ride
After the ride, we went to their air-conditioned indoor shooting range. Check out the equipment used by the NDU during their operations.
Side Scan Sonar
It is using sonar to detect objects in the sea.
This is actually a commercial item.
The GPS unit.
The control unit.
Divator MK II
Stealth EOD Close Circuit Mixed Gas Diving Set
This is something you do not see on normal soldiers.
Close up of the dagger.
Full Range Oxygen Gas System (FROGS)
EOD Remote Vehicle Talon
The brain behind the vehicle.
Close up of the controller.
RE-70 De-armer Disruptor
This weapon has a range of only 15m. However, it is powerful enough to destroy IED and etc. Some of its ammunition is something you might not imagine, Water!!
This are the ammunition.
Everything can be put into the compact suitcase.
Portable Unmanned Aerial Surveillance (The Eye)
The next equipment that was on display is The Eye. I think this is more of a hobby than an actual military equipment. Nevertheless, it still helps the NDU reduce injuries by sending out this drone instead of the men.
Close up of The Eye
With that, it concludes the visit. Here is a group shot before we leave.