NSF, 21, dies after vehicular incident during military training exercise in Australia
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A young national serviceman in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) unfortunately passed away last Friday following an accident during a military training exercise in Queensland, Australia.
That evening, 3rd Sergeant (3SG) Chan Hiang Cheng Gavin had been the vehicle commander of a BIONIX Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV), and he was guiding it out of difficult terrain at the Shoalwater Bay Training Area when it landed on its side. Though the driver and two other passengers inside the armored vehicle were unhurt, 21-year-old Chan was found unconscious next to the IFV.
Immediate resuscitation efforts commenced, according to the Ministry of Defence, with a total of three SAF medical personnel delivering onsite medical treatment. 3SG Chan was then evacuated by helicopter to Rockhampton Airport before being conveyed by ambulance to Rockhampton Hospital. The young man succumbed to his injuries later on and was pronounced dead at 10:36pm (Singapore time).
Arrangements were made for Chan’s next of kin to be flown to Australia, and they arrived on Saturday morning.
“MINDEF and the SAF extend our deepest condolences to the family of the late 3SG Chan,” they wrote in an official statement. “MINDEF and the SAF are assisting the family in their time of grief and are continuing our investigations.”
A safety pause was declared for all SAF units in Shoalwater Bay Training Area following the incident. The episode transpired during Exercise Wallaby, a large-scale annual exercise involving many Singaporean national servicemen — it’s one that’s considered the SAF’s largest unilateral overseas drill.
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