These military soldiers play a big role in strengthening the nation’s defence
LTC Tung Wanling, Commanding Officer of the Formidable-class stealth frigate RSS Tenacious. PHOTOS: MINDEF

Serving in the Singapore Armed Forces has enabled these scholars to harbour a strong sense of duty towards their country

A career with the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) comes with dynamic opportunities and challenges, taking you on adventures that you may have never imagined before.

Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Tung Wanling, for instance, was attached to a Republic of Korea Navy destroyer, the ROKS Choi Young back in 2009, when she was a junior officer in the RSN. The ROKN warship was sailing on her maiden voyage around the world.

For almost a month as its navigation officer, she guided the warship around the globe from Toulon, France, through the Suez Canal and across the turbulent waters of the Indian Ocean, calling at Alexandria and Djibouti along the way.

“It was an eye-opening experience which allowed me to better appreciate the similarities and differences of culture, organisational structures and processes across the various navies,” recalls LTC Tung.

In the past 15 years, no two days have ever been the same for SAF Merit Scholarship recipient LTC Tung – and that is precisely what she enjoys most about being an officer in the RSN.

Today, as the Commanding Officer of the Formidable-class stealth frigate RSS Tenacious, she is responsible for leading a crew of over 70 to patrol Singapore’s waters, as well as take part in exercises with foreign navies. Their aim is not just to excel in their assigned missions, but to fly the RSN and Singapore flags high.

The RSN has given her many opportunities to experience a wide spectrum of tasks. Aside from contributing to multinational maritime operations, she has developed training road maps for regulars and NSmen, and was also involved in the Trump-Kim summit preparations in 2018.

More recently, LTC Tung was assigned the task of assisting US Vice-President Kamala Harris when she came to Singapore in August 2021 as part of her maiden visit to South-east Asia.

“In my journey with the Navy thus far, I have been frequently challenged to push my limits and have consistently been provided with opportunities for professional and personal development,” she says.

After several shipboard tours, she feels proud to see an entire warship or unit coming together to achieve a common objective.

“The ‘magic’ is in the professionalism, the spirit to push boundaries together, and that unyielding adaptability of the people we have with us.

“Every department pulls its weight and every individual steps up with his or her specific roles, from navigation to propulsion, from sensors to weapons,” she says.

It is the tight bond of friendship and close-knit family that LTC Tung truly appreciates.

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