ME2 Joshua Lim ensures that the communication systems on board RSS Tenacious are always in good working condition to support the ship's operations and deployments.
The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) plays a pivotal role in protecting the country's waters and sea lines of communication. As a maritime nation, Singapore's prosperity is intricately linked to the seas. A strong naval force is therefore critical in maintaining regional peace and security which allows the country's economy to continue to flourish.
Military Expert 2 (ME2) Joshua Lim was motivated to join the RSN by his desire to pursue a purposeful career that allows him to contribute to a greater cause.
Word of Mouth
ME2 Lim was first drawn to the RSN after his friends gave him a first-hand account of the strong camaraderie among the crew. He eventually decided to join the RSN after attending a talk by the Navy Recruitment Centre during his Basic Military Training.
"When I heard about the roles of the Navy, I felt that it was a career worth pursuing."
ME2 Lim has worked his way up diligently and is currently the Communications Cluster Chief on board RSS Tenacious, a Formidable-class stealth frigate.
"My role includes mission planning for operations and exercises. This involves identifying all the requirements through discussions with the officers and department chiefs on board to ensure that our ship can still stay connected to our headquarters and other ships when deployed. In addition, I also have to liaise with other ships and shore units as all of us need to work together to achieve mission success," explained ME2 Lim.
He is also responsible for ensuring that the communications equipment on board is operationally ready, and that his team members are well-trained to operate the equipment and carry out their roles effectively.
"To do this, I work closely with my supervisor and my senior operators to make sure that we are able to combine our strengths and areas of expertise, to provide the best training and guidance to our junior team members."
ME2 Lim graduated from Nanyang Polytechnic with a Diploma in Digital Media Design. Despite being trained in design and with no relevant knowledge, he was able to acquire the necessary technical knowledge to perform his jobs, thanks to various learning opportunities that the RSN offered.
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An Innate Thirst for Knowledge
"The Navy has given me many opportunities to grow and attain the skills I need to take up my current position," he said.
"Over the years, my superiors have given me numerous chances to get out of my comfort zone to learn new skills and build my confidence. From my first Communications Cluster Chief who taught me all my fundamentals, to the professional courses that I attended; there were countless opportunities for me to learn and grow."
He also credited his career development in the RSN to the exposure he was given while serving on board the various ships. In particular, he has fond memories of the time he spent on the Fearless-class patrol vessel, RSS Fearless.
ME2 Lim elaborated: "It was on board RSS Fearless that I first experienced sea state 3 (very challenging sea conditions where the waves can go as high as 1.25m). It was also on board RSS Fearless that I gained first-hand experience of being involved in operations to keep our seas safe and secure. I remember responding to calls for help to deter sea robbers, and conducting search and rescue operations when vessels capsized in our waters.
"These experiences made a deep impression on me. It enhanced my appreciation of the peace and security that we enjoy every single day, and the men and women who maintain it."
Staying Outside the Comfort Zone
Who are best suited to join the RSN? For ME2 Lim, it is those with plenty of tenacity, grit and optimism, as well as a willingness to learn.
"It is important to be able to endure and overcome the initial discomfort of shipboard life. When we are out at sea, we are away from land or support, so we need to learn to self-sustain. Everyone is responsible not only for operating, but also maintaining our equipment," he said.
And certainly, he can personally attest to the camaraderie within the RSN.
"Everyone on board ship looks out for one another, keeping spirits high and ensuring that at the end of our deployments, we get home safely to our families and loved ones."