In The Force

Developing a firm foundation in rescue work

Meet Lieutenant (LTA) Wang Mingkang, a Rescue Engineer for the 41 Rescue Unit in the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), whose role is to reduce the risks of potential structural failures.


As a Rescue Engineer, LTA Mingkang understands the anatomy of buildings and structures, as well as their typical collapse patterns and structural behaviours under adverse loading.

The 28-year-old’s expertise enables him to develop mitigation plans, as well as monitor and assess buildings’ structural support to ensure their stability.


LTA Mingkang conducting research into the behaviour of concrete structures under different loading conditions.

To dive deeper into his role, LTA Mingkang attended a one-week Rescue Engineer Course and immersed himself in the lesson on Urban Search and Rescue (USAR). Deployed to a simulated disaster area with collapsed structures, he learnt the basics of building shores to ensure the safety of rescuers while saving casualties.

“Rescue engineers have a heavy responsibility to ensure a safe environment before giving the green approval to conduct search and rescue in a structure that is prone to collapse further,” he shared.

The course also equipped rescuers with knowledge on how to effectively liaise with other rescue teams from different countries, through the International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG)’s communication systems.


Besides carrying out the role of a Rescue Engineer in SCDF, LTA Mingkang also works as a Research Engineer at the National University of Singapore (NUS), where he conducts research relating to structural collapse using experiments and numerical simulations.

LTA Mingkang is a firm believer in lifelong learning as seen from his Civil Engineering PhD candidature at NUS. He provides support in a research collaboration project between NUS’ Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and HTX’s Protective Security and Safety Centre of Expertise, involving the design and assessment of precast concrete-framed structures against disproportionate collapse.


LTA Mingkang and his team of rescuers after constructing a Class 3 Vertical Laced Post Shore.

The Class 3 Vertical Laced Post Shore is one of the strongest shoring systems that provides temporary support in stabilising collapsed structures and can carry up to a maximum load of 36,000 kilograms. To ensure the safety of rescuers during search-and-rescue operations involving collapsed structures, the Class 3 Vertical Laced Post Shore must be accurately and quickly assembled – which LTA Mingkang and his team of rescuers are able to do so within half an hour.

For the latest updates on HomeTeamNS promotions and events, visit our website and Facebook page.

Food Spy

Singapore’s real culinary treasure

Hawker food has been the go-to choice for foodies in Singapore for generations. Here are some stalls that should be on anyone’s must-try list.



Singapore’s hawker culture was finally inscribed on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List in late 2020. But those of us who grew up on this sunny little island need no reminding about what treasures our hawker centres truly are.

Pick one from the following list to get started on this mouth-watering treasure trail!


Address: 2 Adam Road, Singapore 289876

Foodies love Adam Road Food Centre for its selection of multi-ethnic cuisines. A perennial favourite is Selera Nasi Lemak (#01-02), with every plate of nasi lemak featuring fluffy, fragrant rice, crispy and tender deep fried chicken, moreish otah and lip-smacking sambal.

Bahrakath Mutton Soup (#01-10) serves up hearty bowls of Indian-style, mutton soup, best eaten with a side of toasted french loaf. The mutton leg is the star here, but there’s also tongue, brain or tripe for those in the mood for something more exotic.

For dessert, make your way to Teck Kee Hot and Cold Dessert (#01-31) for their green bean soup and tau suan, said to be one of the best on the whole island. Also popular is their ice kachang, which comes complete with attap seed, rose syrup and sarsaparilla drizzle.


Address: 105 Yishun Ring Rd, Singapore 760105

Wan Xing Nasi Lemak (#01-134) is one of Chong Pang Food Centre’s many claims to fame. The stall sells Chinese-style nasi lemak with its signature green-tinged rice, redolent with the aromas of coconut and pandan leaves. You can opt for the set meal or pick from a selection of dishes like fried chicken wings, otah, fish fillet and fried eggs to compose your perfect plate.

Another stall that has got foodies raving is Ho Heng Kway Chap (#01-140). Its rendition of rice noodles in warm broth, paired with an assortment of braised tau pok, pork meat, pig intestine and boiled egg, makes for a satisfying meal any time of the day.

Right next door is Super Penyet (#01-141), known for its excellent Ayam Penyet comprising fluffy and fragrant rice, flavourful and crispy fried chicken and an intriguing homemade sambal blend with chilli, shrimp paste, shallots, lime and tamarind.


Address: 18 Raffles Quay, Singapore 048582

More than its colonial-era architecture, Lau Pa Sat is known as one of the best spots to feast on satay in the bustling Central Business District. Indeed, the iconic Satay Street – located right by the hawker centre – comes alive after sundown and on the weekends, where hungry diners chow down on skewers of grilled, spiced meats dunked in a sweet peanut sauce.

Venture into Lau Pa Sat proper and you’ll find many more culinary delights. Seek out Shi Hui Yuan (Stall 23), a Michelin Bib Gourmand award recipient for the past five years, for their Singapore-style hor fun, served up with slices of tender braised chicken and a 30-year old family-recipe herbal sauce.

Another classic is Seng Lee 259 Prawn Noodles (Stall 10), known for its rich and flavourful noodle bowls made with slow-boiled prawn stock.


Address: 1 Kadayanallur St, Singapore 069184

Maxwell Food Centre is, of course, where you can find the famous Tian Tian Chicken Rice (#01-10/11), which beat even Gordon Ramsey in a hawker food face-off back in 2013. Not that anyone who’s tried the divine pairing of tender boiled chicken and fluffy rice cooked in chicken stock would have expected any different.

There are many more treasures to be found too. For instance, Maxwell Fuzhou Oyster Cake (#01-05) is one of the last few hawkers that specialise in this traditional deep-fried snack filled with juicy oyster, prawn and minced meat.

If you’re hankering for Cantonese-style congee, you can’t go wrong with Zhen Zhen Porridge (#01-54). Think piping-hot bowls of silky smooth rice congee cooked to perfection with your choice of fish, chicken or pork. Add a raw egg for extra richness.

Another can’t-miss stall is Popo and Nana’s Delights (#01-70), which offers up hearty home-cooked Peranakan and Eurasian meals. Choose from classics such as Ayam Buah Keluak, Beef Rendang, Chap Chye and Shepherd’s Pie.


Address: Newton Circus, 500 Clemenceau Avenue North, Singapore 229495

Newton Food Centre is a long-standing favourite of foodies – local and foreign. It has shaken off its prior reputation as an overpriced tourist-trap by focusing on delicious hawker dishes, some of which are easily the best on the island.

Guan Kee Grilled Seafood (#01-53) is well-known for its BBQ stingray, grilled to perfection and served smothered in generous amounts of sambal chilli. Another stall that also regularly sees long queues is Hup Kee Fried Oyster Omelette (#01-53). The crispy, chewy oyster and egg omelette is well worth the extra calories.

Head to Hajah Monah Kitchen (#01-83) for a satisfying plate of nasi padang. The stars here are the beef rendang, assam fish and sambal goreng – each dish full of rich, multi-layered flavours best slowly savoured.

Meanwhile, Indian Palace (#01-61) offers classic Indian dishes that are just as good as any restaurant. You can find popular choices such as butter chicken, mutton rogan josh, kadai paneer, biryani and naans.


Speaking of biryani, Allaudin’s Briyani (#01-232) at Tekka Centre is a long-time favourite among those who love the dish. Since 1968, the stall has kept to its signature of heaping portions of Basmati rice cooked with spices, topped by an equally generous portion of chicken or mutton, with a side of crispy pappadums.

Temasek Indian Rojak (#01-254) is another beloved choice. Featuring a selection of freshly fried doughs and fritters, sausages, vegetables and egg, with each bite dunked into a sweet and spicy chilli peanut sauce, there’s nothing quite as spectacular or satisfying.

End off your meal with an ice-cold bowl of chendol from Lim Chendol (#01-315) – a simple but delectable combination of pandan jelly and kidney beans on a bed of shaved ice, with generous drizzles of gula melaka syrup. The stall’s other two offerings, pulut hitam, and ice kachang, are also well worth a try. 

For the latest updates on HomeTeamNS promotions and events, visit our website and Facebook page.

Lifestyle Uncategorized

Fun ways to celebrate Deepavali

This Deepavali, brighten up your household with these joyful activities for the Festival of Lights.



Despite the grey, drizzly monsoon season, there’s something bright to look forward to – Deepavali, which takes place on 24 Oct this year.

Known as the Festival of Lights, Deepavali comes from an ancient Sanskrit word meaning “a row of lights”. The holiday marks the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness, and is celebrated with gatherings of family and friends, colourful decorations and a smorgasbord of food and sweets. 

Here are some activities to make this Deepavali special, whether you’re celebrating it with loved ones or just looking to add a little light into your life. 


When visitors come by at Deepavali, it’s traditional to welcome them with sweets that are often made with milk, nuts, spices and jaggery (unrefined sugar). You could visit Little India to buy mithai – the Hindi word for sweets – and arrange the different varieties on a platter to serve up.

To really impress your guests, though, why not make your own? For an easy recipe that kids can help with, try making peda, a type of sweet milk fudge comprising only four ingredients: milk, milk powder, sugar and ghee. Finish off each peda ball with a decorative slice of chopped pistachio, edible silver leaf or a piece of dried fruit.


In the spirit of sustainability, you can look around for recyclable materials to make colourful and festive Deepavali decorations.

Get the kids to paint used cardboard and cut it into shapes like flowers, leaves and peacock feather motifs, then punch holes and make a garland using string or ribbon. Add sparkle with glitter or sequins left over from other art projects. Hang your finished garland on a door, or wall.

Got a bag of expired flour? Don’t throw it away. This recipe shows you how to use flour and water to make an oil lamp known as a diya. Once baked and painted, you can pour oil into them and add a cotton wick. Presto, a little light for Deepavali!

If you’d rather not get messy at home, head on down to HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok with the little ones for a Sand Art Rangoli activity on 22 and 23 Oct 2022, from 11am to 5pm. Also known as kolam in Tamil, the kid-friendly activity sees participants creating beautiful and traditional floor decorations with coloured sand. Rangoli kits are limited to two per member, and slots are reserved for the first 250 HomeTeamNS members daily.


The Indian Heritage Centre is hosting its annual Deepavali Open House, an extravaganza of events, workshops, performances and more, till 23 Oct.

Take part in a Mandala dot painting workshop, watch a Deepavali cooking demonstration (yes, food samples are provided), enjoy an interactive storytelling session and even come together to create a community LEGO mural based on a classic kolam (a floor drawing made from coloured flour) design. On weekends, admission is free.

For the latest updates on HomeTeamNS promotions and events, visit our website and Facebook page.

Club Buzz

A joyous wave of red on National Day

National Day was a sea of red, as the nation celebrated its 57th birthday in the heartlands following the easing of COVID-19 safe management measures. HomeTeamNS clubhouses were filled with festivities that left the members in high spirits!



While many Singaporeans watched the National Day Parade (NDP) at The Float @ Marina Bay, a special spot was reserved for HomeTeamNS members at Gardens by the Bay East. Decked with picnic mats and foldable chairs, close to 700 members enjoyed a National Day Picnic by the Bay followed by a viewing of the spectacular fireworks.


Excitement stirred as local busker Jeff Ng and Tik Tok sensation Uncle Raymond took to the stage. Members were entertained with National Day songs, dances and the live broadcast of the National Day Parade. There were also carnival game booths, a snack bar and free massages by the mobile massage team from the Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped.

The picnic ended on a magical note as fireworks lit the night sky, leaving members and their loved ones in awe of the picturesque view in the skies above the Singapore Flyer and Marina Bay Sands.

The National Day Picnic by the Bay was a great way to celebrate Singapore’s birthday at The Float @ Marina Bay, before the parade heads to The Padang in 2023.


Over in the western part of Singapore, National Day was celebrated with various activities and the live screening of the NDP at HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok Clubhouse. Dressed in red and white, some 460 members spent the day having their faces painted, sculpting balloons and watching the NDP in the auditorium. There were also National Day game challenges and lucky dips for members to win ice cream and other prizes.

With the delectable range of restaurants at the Bukit Batok clubhouse, the members enjoyed a taste of different cuisines, from Greek to Chinese.


Excitement ruled at HomeTeamNS-JOM Balestier Clubhouse, as 182 members and guests had a splashing good time in a pool party and a K-pop dance session!

The day started with members grooving to K-Pop tunes at the dance studio, led by KpopX Fitness Coach, Mr Kelvin Toh. To celebrate the special occasion, a few familiar National Day tunes were added into the mix.

Over at the swimming pool, families donned their swimsuits and had fun in the sun. Sprawled with colourful floats and an inflatable obstacle course, swimmers frolicked in the pool. Parents cheered on as their little ones dashed through the obstacle course.


National Day celebrations remained festive as ever at HomeTeamNS Khatib, where the clubhouse hosted about 420 members and patrons on Aug 6 and 7, 2022. Featuring a Bouncy House, carnival games and food stalls, members had a ‘fun-tastic’ time with their loved ones at the Funival.

Some junior HomeTeamNS members tried games like Go Fish and Shoot the Dino and others explored the offerings of the clubhouse, while munching down on carnival snacks such as hot dog buns, popcorn and cotton candy. The kids also leaped to their heart’s content on the 4.8-metre-tall ‘Under the Sea’-themed Bouncy House and played inflatable games.

Don’t want to miss out on any clubhouse happenings? Watch this space or visit our Facebook page for the latest updates.

Close Up

A lasting legacy of service, for the SCDF, family and country

Inspired by his parents and spurred by a sense of duty, LTA Dev S/O Subramaniam’s policy work is helping to leave a lasting impact for future NSFs.



The audience at the 25th Rota Commander Course (RCC) Commissioning Ceremony was decked out in a sea of colours. But one audience member stood out in his well-starched No. 3 uniform: 1WO Subramaniam of the Republic of Singapore Air Force beamed with pride as he watched his 20-year-old son Dev become a commissioned officer of the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF).

Two months on, LTA Dev still remembers the day vividly. “Tears welled up in my eyes as my dad buttoned the Lieutenant epaulette on my shoulder,” he recalls. “I became more emotional when he saluted me.” The moment was even more special since 1WO Subra had once challenged LTA Dev before his enlistment to the SCDF. “He challenged me to get selected for the RCC course when it didn’t seem likely that I would, since my PES (Physical Employment Standard) status then was B2.”

An NSF’s PES status is assigned based on their medical condition. It is one of the considerations that determines their vocation during NS.


LTA Dev still vividly remembers his father pinning on his epaulettes after his commissioning parade.

LTA Dev overcame the fitness hurdle, determined to do his best. “Being an only child, I’m very close to my parents; I owe a lot to them,” he explains. His mother gave up a career as a legal secretary for one in the real estate sector. This gave her the flexible hours she needed so she could care for him while his father served in the Republic of Singapore Air Force for the past 33 years. It’s from the latter that LTA Dev gets his fierce patriotism and determination to excel. “My mother has also been a tremendous cheerleader through it all.”

Their support was crucial during the RCC – a rigorous, seven-month programme designed to inculcate critical leadership qualities and lifesaving skills in SCDF officers who will take on frontline duties. LTA Dev remembers booking out exhausted, both mentally and physically. During those times, his parents’ unwavering confidence in him kept him going. “They would say: ‘If there’s anyone who can do it, it’s you’.”


LTA Dev appreciates the wider impact his work will have on fellow NSFs.

Over his two years in the Force, LTA Dev has attended many other courses, from the Section Commander Course to the Fire Fighting Course. But he maintains that the RCC is the most enjoyable. “Each training course has a unique focus: The Fire Fighting Course naturally focuses on the hands-on aspect of civil defence, while the Section Commander Course emphasises on leadership.” LTA Dev enjoyed the RCC’s emphasis on seeing the bigger picture and public presentation skills. “I also loved that we were training with different people, including female officers and regulars. The experience taught me how to interact with people from all backgrounds.”

Those lessons come in handy in his present role in the Office of the Director of the Civil Defence Academy (CDA), where he works closely with the facility’s director, AC Alan Chow. LTA Dev supports the unit when it hosts visits from foreign delegations, most recently from Brunei and Japan. He also helps with training audits and works closely with the CDA’s discipline and safety branches.


Does he miss being at the frontline? “Many people have asked me that before and I definitely miss the thrill of lugging a 64mm-diameter hose up a stairwell or scaling the side of Marina Bay Sands,” he shares. “But since young, I’ve been very drawn to administrative work, so I am passionate about my current role.”

This passion also stems from being able to see the impact of his work. “While you’re leading a section or supporting operations, your ability to make an impact is limited to those immediately around you. But supporting the policy work of the CDA allows me to leave a lasting legacy,” he says, referring to his current efforts to improve the code of conduct for instructors in the Academy.

LTA Dev is in the final stretch of his NS journey. Within the next year, he’ll be an undergraduate at the National University of Singapore, working towards a law degree. The four-year programme will likely challenge him, but LTA Dev is sure that no matter how hard things get, he’ll be able to count on his family for support and motivation.

“They’re my everything!” he says.


When the going gets tough, LTA Dev advises fellow Home Team NSmen to think about their motivations for wanting to succeed. “I wanted to finish RCC more than I wanted anything else and that boosted my morale.”