Saturday, June 22, 2013

Thinking Out Of The Box

The fact that the Indonesians are attempting to seed the clouds to quench the forest fires of Sumatra does not mean there are no alternatives to addressing the remote sites of conflagration. Our vaunted multi-talented ministers seem to be blinded by their blinkered visions, unable to explore other fire-fighting options.

The Hercules C-130 fitted with a removable water or fire retardant tank in the cargo hold can be a powerful "fire bomber" or "water bomber". A simple nozzle arrangement feeds straight out the open back ramp.

Helicopters can drop water more precisely than fixed wing-aircraft, limited only by how much they can carry. This Huey uses a  hose to suck water from a river, lake or other source and delivers a spectacular splash.

For a bigger splash, the S-64 Skycrane, the civilian version of the Vietnam H-54, is the real heavy lifter. The Sikorsky-Erickson Skycrane can lift 10,000 liters using the impeller at the end of the hose to suck water from any source deeper than 18 inches. It can also be fitted with an attachment to allow it to scoop water as it moves across the surface of a pond or lake.

Surely our inventory of military hardware can be put to better use than showing off on national day.

57 comments:

  1. Nope. Is not within the defense budget anymore.
    Large chunk has gone to F35 for wars we will never fight for decades.
    But with haze, we have only been fighting it since 1977 for almost every year!! That's our elites' priorities.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Re wars we won't fight: We could start one by attacking Indonesia.

      One can easily be started using the plan suggested by blogger Loh and Behold. It becomes more appealing with each day. It starts with summoning the Indon ambassador and sending him home, and includes sending all Indon workers home.

      No mention tho of the Indon millionaires who own two of the polluting palm-oil companies. Blogger Don't Worry Be Pap-py has the details. If the lot sent home include all those financial criminals Indonesia has been trying to get their hands on, the Indons may not retaliate.

      Delete
    2. Anon: We can't send back the Indonesian domestic maids, as our population is too dependent on the 200,000 Indon maids who are here! [not that I have one, anyway]

      Delete
  2. The problem is not that simple. Farmers need to get rid of discarded dried rice, sugarcane, banana plant leaves and stalks, small branches from trees disczrded from land clearance etc and putting out the fires means there has to be another way for them to dispose of the rubbish. If not, they will probably set the pile ablaze once the fire fighting stops and blame the fires on the hot weather. This will make it even worse by extending the burning period longer and the haze period prolonged.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aiyah, simple lah! Just license the farmers and make them post a performance bond! That way the Yakult minister can let them burn only what he allows them to burn.

      Delete
    2. Firstly, our spineless PM should make the extradition treaty his top priority and show urgency to the Indon leaders. It will go a long way if the ill gotten Billions parked in SinCity is returned to the Indons with a clause that a percentage of it is used to solve the haze problem. SinCity leadership can go another step by offering dollar for dollar to help the Indons build incinerators, processing plants that can recycle those plant base materials, etc, etc.

      Delete
    3. For years now, the PAP leaders always say the same thing "we are ready to help Indons tackle haze". How many times have they taken up this offer? Apparently, according to Mr Shan, they took it up in 2005. So 1 out of 41 years of fire fighting. IT tells you this much.

      Stupidity is offering the same thing every time but expect a different result.

      Delete
    4. Sadly, Indonesia is not like Red Dot. It is the largest country in area in all of Asean.

      When hundreds of fires are burning all over the Islands, we think it is as easy as putting out bush fires in the Istana. A single rhino can probably do the job. But what is happening in Indonesia is anything but a puny fire. The problem is not that easy to solve. It needs logistics, manpower, legislation, supervision, co-ordination and even then it has to have the co-operation of the landowners and small farmers. Any problem in Red Dot is easy to tackle compared to that vast archipalego. Moreover, the people there are anything but submissive like Red Dotters.

      So, the decade old problem will fester. Once the monsoon starts and the haze clears, the issue is once again put aside and left to be revived next year and so on. As they say NATO is well and alive in the East too. In financial circles they call it 'kicking the can further down the road'.

      Delete
  3. I'm also thinking out of the box these days.

    Just leave the ham, duck and salmon outside the balcony, and they are smoked within an hour. Didn't even need to burn a single charcoal! Sia hey!?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Why not issue Singapore citizenship to all these Indonesians?

    Once Indonesians become Singaporean citizens, Pinky can then build subsidized HDB flats for these former Indonesians.
    And they will be too busy working hard to pay off their HDB flats to create anymore trouble for Pinky Loong.

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  5. Tattler, good ideas on how to fight the haze. C-130 approach is interesting, maybe the hurdles are the red tape.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Airpocalypse6/22/2013 12:54 PM

    You know, I'm prepared to give the govt a 20 years slack due to the early national building phase, but how do you explain what we have been doing for the latter 21 years of inertia for a problem that has festered since 1972?!

    Run out of ideas, Inertia, or just plain complacency? Any surprise why we are finally facing such "airpocalypse" today.

    http://remembersingapore.wordpress.com/2013/06/19/a-hazy-problem-for-40-years/

    ReplyDelete
  7. Is it a coincidence that those flying machines look like giant mosquitoes? The last one is particularly so.

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  8. So how many of those machines does our air force have?
    Is going to make many trips back and forth to do such a big containment job.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe they can convert the SIA planes. After all they did convert one into a flying hospital on short notice.

      Delete
  9. Very sure the C130 solution is already in place, not sure why its not been put on table. As usual MIW philosophy is never offer anything for free or charity unless it is about their own salaries and bonuses. But look, even if there aren;t any fire fighting planes in Asia, what stop them asking the Aussies or Canadians for a loan of a few of these? Australia has been fighting bush fires for donkey years. Obviously the MIW wants this to prolong, maybe their PR spinning machine is advissing that this is a good chance to show how capable their scholars are, but the damage is being done everyday this thing drags, to the real economy, to the public's image that we have a bunch of feckless incompetents who cannot even distribute face masks efficiently after 2 weeks of haze, and to the cabinet who has no guts to call time off for outdoor work even as PSI hits 401 health-threatening level (except for their own civil servants and SAF who have all stopped for a week now). Just shambolical!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello ah! You never read news isit? We offered C130 to Indo every year already, they don't want it. Actually, they don't want to put out the fire and the point is to let it burn. The right to burn is paid for.

      Get it?

      Delete
    2. The indons actually want the C130 but must be loaded with cash and not water.

      Delete
  10. If Vivian Bala cannot fix this problem.
    I say we leave him in Indonesia.

    Or
    Fly him back on a C-130.
    No more 1st class airline travel for him.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. AssLoong should assign VivianB to remain in Indonesia to assist the farmers and thereafter fly him back on LionAir.

      Delete
  11. Rather than spending money on these useful planes and donating them to Indonesia to help fight the fires, the PAP would rather spend millions buying fighter jets for Singapore's imaginary wars that hasn't occurred since independence.

    PAP's logic for buying expensive fighter jets borders on the retarded in that buying expensive war toys is an effective deterrence bcos Singapore did not engage in war. Going by that logic - building HDB flats has also served as a deterrence for war since our independence bcos Singapore did not engage in any wars since we have been building HDB flats.

    This is what we are paying millions for in terms of political 'leadership'.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Even with such military might we are viewed as a pi sai (dried nasal excrement), might as well scrap the dreaded conscription so as to make Singaporean as competitive as foreign trash.

      Delete
    2. 12 Billion budget to show off military might annually counts for nothing when just a sampling of haze from the indons is enough to show our lords on pisai island what is real power.

      I am inclined to believe our northern neighbours had taken note of this a long time back. Just imagine doing the same from south eastern johore during the north east monsoon period.
      This is just one reason why our closest neighbours in proximity never bother to make an annual song and dance over their military hardware.

      Delete
  12. Lol! Yakult and Vivian Bala fighting a lost cause with the Indons! Langgar!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Indons with their meagre salaries feel they have no dignity when facing Yakult and Vivian, so the conversation probably remain just a conversation. Having said, I tend to believe the Indons are more interested to know the art of making corruption legal.

      Delete
    2. I think corruption is already legalised in Indonesia since the Suharto Government was in power. Suharto's wife was nicknamed 'Madame 10%' for taking a cut on everything that makes money. Perfectly legalised hor!

      Anyway, if the Indonesians wants to make corruption more legalised, maybe they would prefer to learn it from some really old grandmasters of proven lineage.

      Delete
  13. A latest report realeased 3 hours ago by Reuters claimed satellite map analyses and government data revelaed another 2 companies besides SMART and APRIL, carried hot spots. So far besides SMART and APRIL, the 3rd Singapore-based (and listed) company involved was First Resource. Unfortunately, after saying Singapore will not host any fire causing company, the good minister that added that there were very little red dot could do under international law if crime took place overseas ... so much for "hot air" (heh heh, I know its hot with all the haze...)

    See: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/06/22/southeastasia-haze-idUSL2N0EY02820130622?feedType=RSS&feedName=nonCyclicalConsumerGoodsSector&rpc=43

    ReplyDelete
  14. Do not know why everyone is trying to think out of the box, the solution is simple, make it too expensive to burn these vegetation, turning useless vegetation into money for the farmer. It may take a couple of years, but biotechnology is coming along to digest complex carbohydrate.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Issue everyone in Singapore a gas mask.. complete with goggles and O2 tank.
    Include all that enter through airport, ship ports
    causeway.

    Sort of door gift.
    Will come in usefull if you need it for street protests and protect from tear gas.

    We have lots of money... tony can approve it.. he has the keys.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tony should grace and show up at the stupid Silent Haze Protest at HLP.

      Already hazy, cannot see. Silent some more, cannot hear.
      Just like the Presidential role.

      Delete
    2. The hazy Deity does not move. Notice how difficult he gets up. Worse than the previous one, it seems.

      The Deity does not go to HLP. HLP must go to the Deity.

      Delete
  16. Singapore Air Force uses Pekan Baru as their base of operation (its both a civilian and military airport) for their jets which use a shooting range nearby. I have seen our aircraft training there numerous times as I visit PKU often. NEA knew that the haze was coming and they could have coordinated with the various ministries and the Indons to station their fleet of C130s there fitted them with The Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System specially built for C130s. The Indons wld have welcomed this .In the US MAFFS Program provides emergency capability to supplement existing commercial tanker support on wildland fires when all other air tankers are activated but further assistance is needed.The Forest Service can request help from the Air Force's MAFFS units. MAFFS is a mission that highlights interagency cooperation.

    MAFFS units fit inside C-130 airplanes without requiring structural modification. This allows the units to be loaded on short notice. It takes about two hours to load a MAFFS unit onto the C-130. The C-130s drop retardant from an altitude of about 150 feet through a discharge tube located in place of the left rear paratroop door of the aircraft.
    A MAFFS unit can discharge its load -- 3,000 gallons weighing 28,000 pounds -- in less than five seconds. The retardant covers an area one-quarter of a mile long and 60 feet wide. After the plane discharges its load, and returns to an air tanker base, it can be refilled and airborne again in less than 20 minutes.

    I have this question for the defense and other minsters: You spend billions buying the useless F35. Did you ever consider that you need spend a couple of millions only to buy the MAFFS units as part of the "arsenal" which would have saved Singaporeans all the grief and aggravation or were you too busy counting your money and feeling so rich to think about mundane things like this. It would have also made us look like heros in the eyes of the Indon and the region to have preempted this in this way.

    But alas this is Singapore, ministers are too busy speculating in property and buying 10m condos and holidaying overseas so it will not happen.



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. //It would have also made us look like heros in the eyes of the Indon and the region to have preempted this in this way.//

      What makes you think they want us to 'problem-solve' this problem for them, on their terrain? Even supposed you'd problem solved it, what methods do you want the illiterate farmers to use in order to clear the peatlands so that their crops can grow? If burn and slash is not the way to go, what is the 'golden standard' then? Haven't we know by now that the fire fighting always come "AFTER" the fact? So the real bottomline is - we either solve it on our terrain or we will always been trailing behind doing the damage control.

      Delete
  17. It looks like the Indonesians are smarter than our million dollar ministers.
    According to Reuters, air quality in Singapore improved significantly to "moderate" pollution levels on Saturday after Indonesian planes waterbombed raging forest fires.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah sure. After it burn-baby-burn for a week (clearing the land) and us swallowing 400m of loss economy $$$.

      Either they are very very smart, or we are very very stupid. Which one?

      Delete
    2. Do not be over optimistic about the low readings today, because this is the weekend.

      Further, with the pressure mounting against burning, some are just lying low while the heat is on and may be up to their old habits again next week.

      Of course they are smarter. How else could they not be smart by capturing Mas Selamat while our men in blue allowed him to slip through their fingers and escape while doing his toilet job. And they could not capture him despite mobilizing the whole population in red dot. Laughable!

      Delete
    3. Wasn't Mas Selamat captured by the Malaysians?? I am confused.

      Delete
    4. Mas Selamat was captured by Indonesian authorities in Jan 2006, and handed over to Singapore in Feb 2006. After his escape from the Whitley Road Detention Centre in Feb 2008, he was captured by Malaysian authorities in April 2009 and transferred back to Singapore on 24 September 2010.

      Delete
    5. I don't think the water-bombing even make a small dent. It is the change in wind direction. The haze is still there - it simply moved northwards with the wind. It move to Muar in Johor, and it has now moved to KL and further north.

      Delete
  18. http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/aviation/news/planes-of-the-paris-air-show-fire-boss#slide-5

    Well, well, maybe is not too late to place an order at the Paris Airshow leh.
    Which Mindef heads are there squandering our money right now?

    ReplyDelete
  19. Anon 8:05 PM says Indon dont need our help etec. I deal with Indons a lot and a different approach and diplomatic style is required in getting them to come along with you.The direct crass Singapore approach hardly works. What I wld have done with the Indon goverment as soon as it was realised that hot spots were growing and the haze was gonna get here soon, would have been to send s minister or 2 from here to do some quiet diplomacy and offer to base fire bombing ac ( if we have them ) for free in PKU but with their airforce taking the lead. The Indon military will not admit it but they just don't have the resources and they are too proud to ask but will accept quietly if offered. Yes the best way is to prevent this from happening in the first place but this wont happen. We need to accept that clearing by burning is gonna continue but what we can reduce it and provide the resources to water bomb when it goes hay wire like now.

    And it not the illiterate farmers who are doing the burning. they are just being employed by the big boys (who live in Spore driving lanbos and bungaows in Sentosa) to do it on a super industrial scale. The illiterate farmer cannot afford to own the thousands of acres of oil palm estates.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I fully agree last para, it's not the small holders who are burning despite what you watch in CNA, it's the big plantation boys, whpse plantations the CNA reporters will never be able to go near without the plantation owners' "escort". Most who has some dealings in the plantation business in Indonesian provinces know how its done. And since 3 posts ago, I said Sinarmas, RGM and a few others you have never heard of, were the main culprits, year after year, they pay fixers, who then get others to start the burning. Even if you know the exact coordinates of hot spots, you will never get near their locations on the ground. Again for the people not aware, the economics are simple: use bulldozers, it will cost $1k to $2k a hectare to clear the land or remove old trees. Each year they plant or replant about 10% of their total acreage of between 300k hectares to 600k hectares, that's a cost of $30m minimum to max of $120m. If they pay a fire party, it cost no more than $1m to "fix" it. The $30m to $120m is still paid out by the listed vehicles like SMART (aka Golden Agri) or RGM, but it is paid into the pockets of the majority shareholders (aka the families) who happily launder it away we all know where. Every year, year in year out.

      And I still think Jakarta is as frustrated as the MIW on their lack of control over the plantation owners. Local government takes money, local TNI generals are in their payroll. If CNA is serious about investogative journalism, why don;t they speak with the local NGOs, WWF or some crazy greenpeace people who have tried to go near to recount their stories?

      While I don't know the solution, I do know where the money is laundered, but after hearing how they cannot do much legally since the burning is overseas, I can understand why Jakarta is not interested in anything long term, the pressure point to a long term solution is inside the red dot, but the "flesh" is weak.

      Delete
  20. Put yourself in their shoes ..
    1. The Farmer
    2. The Plantation Owners
    3. The Politicians
    and try to guess their agenda.

    If you get it right, you have a solution.
    It's the people, not the box. Do they want the fires to be extinguished ??

    ReplyDelete
  21. “We have two Bolco helicopter and one Colibri helicopter all equipped with bamboo buckets, and we also have deployed the rain-making Casa 212 this morning,” Sutopo Purwo Nugroho of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency said on Saturday.

    Sutopo said 500 personnel from the military and the National Police would also be deployed to Riau to battle the fires, while helicopters would be used to drop water and the Casa 212 would be tasked with cloud seeding.

    Thank you, Pak Sutopo, terima kaseh!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Again, is "post-measures".

      Delete
  22. “We have two Bolco helicopter and one Colibri helicopter all equipped with bamboo buckets, and we also have deployed the rain-making Casa 212 this morning,” Is this a joke. This type of ancient equipment will never put out any fire in a 100 years.
    This masak masak type equipment. hahahha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Casa C-212 was produced under licence in Indonesia by Indonesian Aerospace, formerly called IPTN but now known as IAe. The Colibiri is also used by 124 Squadron of the RSAF. The "Bolco" could be the Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm Bo 105 which is also manufactured in Indonesia. These "masak masak" aircraft helped to bring the PSI down to 73 at 5 pm on Saturday.
      While our Apache, Super Puma and Chinooks are sitting in the hangars, washed and waxed a thousand times to look pretty for the fly over at the NDP.
      And if you really want something to laugh about, do you know our Chief of Air Force does not have a qualified pilot's licence?

      Delete
  23. Agreed. Spore shd be deploying their expensive toys for the fire fighting which we have all paid from tax payers blood. They shd have been offered long time ago. The Indon intentions are good but their equipment just not quite adequate, Can u blame the Indons for being pissed with us? First we hide their corrupt peoples billions here and than we don't offer proper help.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Recently our Law Minister say international law can be used against the Indonesians. Instead of proper diplomacy, they still want to act tough as if the Indonesians really cared.

    And some more want to take action against Singapore companies if they are involved. What if it is proven to be true that Cargill as owned by Temasick may be involved ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If one or more of those companies are proven to be linked or owned largely by Temasek, then it is obvious why the problem can not be solved earlier. If proven true, the plot of the wayanging is in the house right here.

      As the Chinese saying goes, punishing Teamasek will amount to 'putting shit on one's own face"

      Delete
  25. Another common maxim in the United States Marine Corps is “Improvise, Adapt, Overcome.”

    Marines used the phrase to reflect their preference for being a fluid, loosely reined force that could spontaneously react to rapidly changing situations, rather than a rigid outfit that moved in a specific direction with a precise plan.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Don't think the burning has stopped. The wind direction has changed so PSI is down. It is now blowing from south and east. However its the south west monsoon season until September, so many more days ahead. Sorry people, just enjoy the PSI100 days ahead, but these few relatively clear days will soon be memories.

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  27. Talk is always easy ..............

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  28. This is pretty stupid. It's not like we can't send helis or planes over. It's their fucking airspace.

    Which country would allow another country's military aircraft to fly over their lands to conduct such operations without objection? Plus Indon is big brother in Asean. You think Pak Bambang would allow LHL to send airplanes into Riau airspace without consent?

    That's called an act of war.


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah... lets wait till its mustard gas and arrange for a sit down talk to find out if any singapore companies are doing it..

      Probably cant find the armoury man to open up the ammo anyway.. he reported sick.

      Delete
    2. During Ops Flying Eagle, the relief operation for Acheh in 2005, the following aircraft were deployed:
      C-130 Hercules
      CH47D Chinook
      AS 332 Super Puma
      Fokker Utility Aircraft
      The Indonesians even allowed two helicopter landing ships, RSS Endurance and RSS Endeavor, to sail into their territorial waters.

      Delete
  29. so .... what the objectives of water-bombing and cloud seedlings???

    doused out the charred wood for charcoal??? another source of income for those mega plantations owners?
    incentives to the local officials for turning a blind eye to the annual rituals

    or, another wayang for those officials involved in the pony-shows to share the spoils ...

    ReplyDelete