Tuesday, January 04, 2005

SAF doing good in disaster-struck area

I was really pleased to see that SAF Combat Engineers (my old outfit)was doing a great job in Aceh. our Engineers operating off RSS Endurance established two landing points at the coastal town of Meulaboh, which has been cut off since the earthquake and tsunami.

RSS Endurance had brought in 470 personnel and heavy equipment such as bulldozers, mechanical shovels and forklifts, which are vital in paving the way for relief supplies to reach remote areas in this town of 40,000, which has lost about 5,000 people. The heavy equipment is urgently needed to clear roads, and to prepare landing strips for aircraft. This would pave the way to bring in more relief supplies apart from those on the RSN ship. There was also an SAF medical team that will operate a medical aid station in the town.

Combat Engineers get all the ass-end jobs in the SAF. If Tatooine is the ass-end of space in Star Wars, then you can probably find engineers shovelling shit in Tatooine. We get stuck with all the back-breaking (building bridges) and dangerous (blowing things up or laying mines) stuff that you can think off; plus a lot of swinging shovels and changkuls. But the meaningful stuff we will always remember are building bridges or drainage culverts in Thailand or Brunei; projects that we leave behind that benefit the local people. For once, I'm sure my fellow engineers will be proud and willing to sweat and contribute in their way to help the quake and tsunami victims (rather than muttering hokkien swear words...)


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