Of Buffalos and Landing Ship Tanks
Interesting piece of news in today's Straits Times (David Boey, Jan 16):
ABOARD RSS PERSISTENCE, OFF MEULABOH--SINGAPORE is looking for livestock like buffalos or cows to present to Meulaboh residents for Friday's Hari Raya Haji ceremonies. The Singapore Armed Forces Humanitarian Assistance Support Group told The Sunday Times they hope to bring in the animals from areas outside Meulaboh so that residents in the tsunami-devastated coastal town in west Sumatra can perform the sacrificial ceremony, called korban, on Friday. Muslims traditionally distribute the meat to the poor or among themselves to forge community bonding after the ceremony.Neat...
Meanwhile, RSS Endeavour is expected to anchor off Meulaboh this afternoon, bringing to three the number of Republic of Singapore Navy men-of-war sent for earthquake and tsunami relief work. Its arrival marks the first time three of the Navy's 141m Landing Ship Tanks (LSTs) have been sent to one port for an overseas operation.So all four of our LSTs are out there. This is the largest overseas deployment in the history of the RSN ever. (Puzzle: doesn't the 191 Sqn consist of all four of the LSTs?)
The Navy's only other such warship is used by its 191 Squadron, RSS Resolution, to patrol the Northern Arabian Gulf as part of Singapore's contribution to coalition efforts to rebuild Iraq.
The LSTs are expected to head home later this week after relief efforts spearheaded by the Indonesian Armed Forces and the SAF are handed over to humanitarian bodies led by the United Nations, said the SAF Humanitarian Assistance Support Group yesterday.