Singapore Government

GEARING UP
TO COUNTER
TERRORISM

At the Committee of Supply debate, Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen speaks on how the SAF will redouble its efforts in tackling terrorism.

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04 May 2016, 1100 hours (GMT +8)
Before a visit to Naval Logistics Command (NALCOM) on 29 Apr, Ms Joanna Portilla had no clue what the formation does. This is not surprising, given that much of its work is often behind the scenes. Hosted by Senior Minister of State for Defence Dr Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman, Ms Portilla and other members of the Advisory Council on Community Relations in Defence (ACCORD) got the opportunity to learn about NALCOM's capabilities. The Command provides engineering and logistics support to all of the Republic of Singapore Navy's (RSN's) platforms and systems in its naval bases, as well as supporting training, exercises and operational deployments. During the visit, the ACCORD members saw features such as the Automated Storage Retrieval System (ASRS) at Changi Naval Warehouse. Through the automated sorting, storage and retrieval of parts and supplies, the system reduces cost and optimises the use of land and manpower. An integrated workforce of personnel from Singapore Technologies-Synthesis (ST-Synthesis) and NALCOM's Force Support Squadron operate the system to deliver vital stores and spares to the rest of the Navy in an effective and timely manner. The ACCORD members also toured facilities such as the Shiplift Compound, where ST-Marine and NALCOM's Force Generation Squadron carry out depot-level maintenance for the RSN's ships and submarines. And at the Ordnance Workshop, they learnt about the capabilities of the RSN's 76mm OTO Melara gun and 25mm Typhoon Guns. Personnel from ST-Kinetics and NALCOM's Force Readiness Squadron work together in the testing and maintenance of these guns. After the tour, Ms Portilla, a member of ACCORD's Family Community council, was visibly impressed by NALCOM's efficiency and capabilities. From this visit, I have been given a better overview of what NALCOM can do. I am also very impressed by the fact that they are able to come up with innovative solutions such as the ASRS to save costs and reduce manpower while ensuring that safety is observed. Dr Maliki also commended NALCOM's spirit of innovation, which has earned them the Minister for Defence Award consecutively for the past two years in the Ministry of Defence's Productivity and Innovation in Daily Efforts movement. It is a culture we (should) continue to develop and enhance (so that) their personnel internalises this mindset… I am very confident that NALCOM provides a high state of logistics readiness for the RSN and SAF (Singapore Armed Forces), he said. Also among the ACCORD members at the visit was Minister of State for Education, Communications and Information, Dr Janil Puthucheary. Speaking about his key takeaway from the visit, the co-chairman of ACCORD's Educational Institutions Council said: (I would share with others how) some of the things I've seen today are really important to national security and defence, such as the ability to maintain the submarines and fleets by ourselves - it's something we do not want to be dependent on others for.
03 May 2016, 2015 hours (GMT +8)
About 3,500 personnel, 18 ships, 25 aircraft and 40 Special Forces teams came together on 2 May for one of the region's largest multinational exercises ever. The Maritime Security (MS) and Counter-Terrorism (CT) exercise, jointly hosted by the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) under the ambit of the ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting (ADMM)-Plus, will take place in both Brunei and Singapore. Held from 2 to 12 May, the exercise begins with the MS phase where naval elements of participating countries will train together in Brunei and the South China Sea. This segment is co-organised by Brunei and New Zealand. The CT phase, which is co-conducted by Singapore and Australia, will take place in Singapore. RBAF Commander Yang Dimuliakan Pehin Datu Pekerma Jaya Major-General (MG) Dato Paduka Seri Mohd Tawih bin Abdullah said at the opening ceremony on 3 May that terrorism is a threat that cannot be underestimated. He noted that the ASEAN region, in particular, has also experienced the spread of influence from radical groups. The challenges have proven to be more complex and very often, crossed between borders. We are constantly tested and are required to conduct multiple combat and inter-agency operations in countering various emerging threats, he said. The opening ceremony was held at the Muara Naval Base in Brunei. Pehin MG Tawih added that extensive exercises such as this can help build trust, sustain effective partnership and bonds of communication between countries. The exercise directors - the SAF's Director Joint Operations Brigadier-General (BG) Desmond Tan and RBAF's Joint Force Commander BG Dato Seri Pahlawan Haji Hamzah bin Haji Sahat were also present at the ceremony. BG Tan said that that the MS segment was very timely for the region and beyond and was a good way for countries to show their commitment and resolution to ensure that terrorism challenges are tackled. ASEAN is right in the middle of maritime domain area and the freedom of navigation, straits and lines of communication is important from not just the military, but (also) the trade perspective as well, explained BG Tan. The MS phase will see scenarios such as counter-piracy and search and rescue being played out while the CT phase will comprise professional exchanges, area orientation and task familiarisation. Elaborating on the exercise scenario, BG Hamzah said: There is a terrorist group from an unknown country who will be disturbing our seas. We have planned various activities conducted by various nations at sea, such as search and rescue. It will culminate in an assault on an identified target ship and it will be a culmination of maritime security leading into counter-terrorism action. The Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah will be visiting the exercise with the ASEAN Defence Senior Officials' Meeting (ADSOM)-Plus leaders on 4 May. The ADMM-Plus exercise involves militaries from the 10 ASEAN countries, and the eight Plus countries Australia, China, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Russia and the United States.
29 Apr 2016, 1100 hours (GMT +8)
She just can't keep still - I like to be on the move! is the reason Staff Sergeant (SSG) Jess Ong wouldn't trade her trainer role for a job behind the desk. As a Senior Trainer at the Artillery Institute, she enjoys watching her trainees learn the ropes and graduate as artillery operators and specialists. I feel a sense of achievement seeing them master the skills and graduate. Of course, I feel sad sometimes when they leave for their respective units, especially after I've gotten to know them better, because I won't be able to work with them anymore. SSG Ong also loves having students who can inject some fun and enthusiasm into the classroom: It's interesting to meet energetic trainees who like joking around and having fun - if the class was quiet, my trainer life would be very flat too. And don't expect her to take her off-days lying down. This outdoor sports enthusiast still joins her former schoolmates to sweat it out. Back in polytechnic, I used to do adventure racing - it's a multi-faceted outdoor sport that requires both brains and brawns. For instance, it might start with a 10km run, followed by rock-climbing, before we're given a Sudoku puzzle to complete! Now, it's harder to find time for outdoor activities, but we'll still meet up occasionally for activities like rock-climbing or cycling.
27 Apr 2016, 2115 hours (GMT +8)
Greater cooperation and collaboration between militaries remain key assets to deal with complex transnational challenges in today's increasingly interconnected world. Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen said this at 5th Moscow Conference on International Security (MCIS) held in Moscow, Russia, from 26 to 28 Apr. The annual conference brings together high-level defence and military leaders from around the world to discuss a range of security issues. He was speaking at the conference's plenary session on Security Challenges and Opportunities for International Military-to-Military Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific, alongside his counterparts from China, India, Laos and Vietnam. Elaborating on common threats that the world faces, Dr Ng cited examples such as jihadi extremist groups like Al-Qaeda and ISIS, as well as other transnational challenges like cyber-security, international piracy and human smuggling. These challenges are too large for any one country to deal with…and will require the combined efforts of countries and appropriate use of their militaries, he noted. Dr Ng outlined three approaches for countries to step up dialogue and practical cooperation to tackle these challenges. First, countries could use multilateral platforms such as the East Asia Summit, the ASEAN Regional Forum and the ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus) to facilitate dialogue and cooperation. He added that the ADMM-Plus, for instance, had made good progress in strengthening practical cooperation among militaries from Asia-Pacific and beyond. Four ADMM-Plus Exercises will be conducted this year, including a large-scale Maritime Security and Counter-Terrorism exercise that will be co-hosted by Singapore, Brunei, Australia and New Zealand next month. Among the 18 participating countries, Russia will be one of the biggest contributors to the exercise, with one destroyer, two helicopters, two auxiliary ships, two Special Forces teams and other military personnel. Through these exercises, our different armed forces learn more about each other, build trust and build new capabilities that we need to tackle the threats to our common prosperity, said Dr Ng. The second approach, he added, was to step up practical cooperation through information sharing. In 2009, Singapore established an Information Fusion Centre for maritime-related information-sharing and coordination. He noted that these platforms strengthen our regional security architecture while facilitating operational cooperation against common challenges. Dr Ng also highlighted the need to build effective mechanisms that promote peaceful means of resolving disputes and de-escalating tension. Brunei’s Direct Communication Link initiative among the ADMM countries, for example, can provide a quick and reliable means of communication in the event of crisis, he said. He also suggested expanding the code for unplanned encounters at sea to include white-shipping (non-military shipping), and for countries to adopt similar protocols for the coast guard, submarines and military aircraft. While in Moscow, Dr Ng also attended an informal meeting between Southeast Asian and Russian Defence Ministers on 26 Apr. He welcomed a stronger ASEAN-Russia partnership through the ADMM-Plus, and encouraged the establishment of a common set of rules and guidelines among ADMM-Plus militaries to guide behaviour and reduce tensions in the region. Dr Ng also called on the Minister of Defence of the Russian Federation General (GEN) Sergei Shoigu and met other leaders from ASEAN, including Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence GEN Prawit Wongsuwon, Lao Minister of National Defense Lieutenant-General Chansamone Chanyalath, and Vietnamese Minister of National Defence GEN Ngo Xuan Lich.
25 Apr 2016, 0930 hours (GMT +8)
From overseeing military operations to hospital operations, Colonel (COL) (NS) Peter Tay has gone from giving commands to bringing love.
22 Apr 2016, 0940 hours (GMT +8)
A new SAFRA clubhouse - located in Punggol - opens its doors on 24 Apr. Here's a sneak peek of what to expect. Live in Northeast Singapore? Skip the usual weekend pilgrimage to the mall and head to SAFRA's Punggol clubhouse - the latest in its stable of six clubhouses - when it opens at the end of the month. Located at 9 Sentul Crescent, a sleepy side-road now, the five-storey SAFRA Punggol clubhouse offers fitness facilities, enrichment centres and Singapore's first indoor water playground. With Sam Kee LRT station literally next door and Punggol MRT station a six-minute walk away, getting to the clubhouse is easy. The North Eastern Riverine Loop of the Park Connector Network (PCN) is right at the doorstep of the clubhouse. Add the fact that an estimated 80,000 Operationally Ready National Servicemen (NSmen) and their families live in the Northeast region, it is clear to see why the area will not stay sleepy for long. Waterway gem The clubhouse takes advantage of its waterfront location with expansive glass frontages and large open areas on all levels overlooking the waterway. Inside, the clubhouse hosts a 16,000sqft EnergyOne gym and other leisure offerings such as a 24-lane bowling centre, a yoga studio, and a spa and wellness facility. Speaking to the media after a tour of the clubhouse on 14 Jan, Senior Minister of State for Defence Ong Ye Kung said: This will be a jewel in SAFRA's range of clubhouses…and it will be completed on time and on budget. Investing in this (clubhouse) is a form of continual recognition to our NSmen for their contribution towards national defence, said Mr Ong who is also President of SAFRA. The $64.4-million eco-friendly clubhouse has energy-efficient lighting, naturally ventilated common areas, and a solar-energy system. It was awarded the Green Mark Platinum award by the Building and Construction Authority for its green design. The result is an estimated $30,000 in savings each month for electricity and utilities bills, said Major (MAJ) (NS) Terence Quek, Chairperson of the SAFRA Punggol development committee. Seamless access Other unique features built into the new clubhouse include a bicycle and inline-skate rental kiosk. After a day of roaming the extensive PCN (the North Eastern Riverine Loop is about 25km long), patrons can return the rental bicycles or inline-skates at any of the kiosks along the loop. Members will also enjoy direct access to the upcoming Punggol Regional Sports Centre next door which will have swimming and other sports facilities. We designed the clubhouse to be porous and open, a place where NSmen can come to bond with family and friends, explained MAJ (NS) Quek. Thoughtful facilities When it came to deciding the mix of tenants and facilities, the development committee went back to basics and consulted the very people whom the clubhouse would serve. We held focus group discussions to find out from NSmen what kind of facilities they needed, said MAJ (NS) Quek of the conceptualisation process, which took about three years. The result is a clubhouse with a mix of old favourites and new offerings. For example, SAFRA members will be familiar with the EnergyOne gym (the largest gym in the Punggol estate) and leisure facilities such as K Box (a family karaoke outlet) and a bowling alley. Then there are new twists on the familiar such as Splash@Kidz Amaze, a three-storey indoor water playground spanning 23,000sq ft. Designed with an undersea theme, the playground has eight different play decks, five slides and a splash pad. Children's parties can also be held there with the adjoining function rooms. Enriching experience Five enrichment centres will provide a variety of educational programmes spanning linguistics to gymnastics. There will also be a NurtureStars Preschool with capacity for 120 children. Given the increasing number of families moving into the Northeast, the preschool addresses demand for childcare places in Punggol. Priority will be given to SAFRA members. Hunger pangs strike after all that activity? The clubhouse has got it covered with seven food beverage outlets ranging from fast food to family restaurants such as Jack's Place. The clubhouse will hold a soft opening on 24 Apr. Members will enjoy complimentary access to selected facilities and special discounts at participating merchants. Follow SAFRA Punggol's official social media page (facebook.com/SAFRApg) for more details.
21 Apr 2016, 2015 hours (GMT +8)
The threat of piracy and sea robbery on the Straits of Malacca and Singapore, while suppressible, cannot be fully eradicated. Thus, it is important for the Malacca Straits Patrol's (MSP's) member states -- namely Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand -- to continue working hand-in-hand to keep regional sea lanes safe. Chief of Defence Force (CDF) Major-General (MG) Perry Lim said this at the MSP 10th Anniversary Commemorative Events, held on 21 Apr at the Changi Command and Control Centre in Changi Naval Base. The MSP's continued effectiveness hinges on the close cooperation between our Navies, said MG Lim. Let us continue to innovate and strengthen our mutual cooperation, and continue to ensure that the MSP arrangement stays relevant and effective into the future. In his speech, MG Lim also noted that the MSP represented the commitment and cooperative efforts of the participating countries to fight against a common enemy. He said: The MSP has proved to be a good model of practical cooperative action… We (the four MSP states) have shown that we can still work together to effectively tackle issues of common interest such as piracy and sea robbery. A decade ago, on 21 Apr 2006, the MSP Terms of Reference and Standard Operating Procedures was signed by participating nations Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. Thailand joined as the fourth member two years later on 18 Sep 2008. The MSP is a set of cooperative measures undertaken by the four member countries to carry out coordinated patrols and information-sharing to keep the two straits safe. It comprises three components: the Malacca Straits Sea Patrol, the Eyes-in-the-Sky Combined Maritime Air Patrols and the Intelligence Exchange Group. In addition, the Republic of Singapore Navy's Information Fusion Centre (IFC) maintains the MSP Information System, an information-sharing portal. MG Lim was joined by Indonesia's Navy Chief of Staff Admiral Ade Supandi, Singapore' Chief of Navy Rear-Admiral (RADM) Lai Chung Han, Thailand's Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Thai Navy Admiral Na Areenich, and Malaysia's Deputy Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Dato' Anuwi bin Hassan. As part of the commemorative events, they jointly unveiled the new MSP logo. They also witnessed the fourth MSP Information Sharing Exercise which was conducted at the IFC from 19 to 21 Apr. These exercises, held every 16 months, incorporate real-time updates from patrol ships and maritime patrol aircraft, in order to reinforce the information-sharing linkages among the countries. The exercises are planned by the Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand International Liaison Officers (ILOs) in IFC, together with the IFC Head of Operations and Exercise, Major Xing Yongzhi. Lieutenant Commander (LCDR) Muhammad Hafiz bin Othman, an ILO from the Royal Malaysian Navy, said: The MSP initiative is unique because it reflects the commitment and close cooperation among the littoral states. This kind of multilateral cooperation is essential in combating trans-border crime that can threaten the overall security of the Straits. Over the last 10 years, the MSP initiative has met with success. Lloyd's Joint War Risk Committee dropped the classification of the Malacca Strait as a war-risk zone in 2006 after a year, and the number of successful piracy and sea robbery incidents was brought down to zero at the end of 2015.
18 Apr 2016, 2245 hours (GMT +8)
Member countries of the ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting (ADMM) and its partners must work towards common goals for regional peace and security. Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen said this at the 4th Putrajaya Forum, themed Regional Cooperation in Addressing Security Challenges, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on 18 Apr. He was speaking at the forum's plenary session on the topic, Major Power Influence and Regional Security Architecture, alongside Turkish Deputy Minister of National Defence Şuay Alpay. Dr Ng said the ADMM and its partners need to enhance regional peace and stability through dialogue and practical cooperation, and come together to create and abide by a common set of mechanisms, protocols and norms that guide behaviour in the region. He outlined three key guiding principles which laid the foundation for an overall framework where all ASEAN members would be clear on how they could contribute to the group. The first principle was that the ADMM should respect the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of each ASEAN member state, even in the ongoing effort to build the ASEAN community. Dr Ng noted that this would include deployment of the militaries of ASEAN members and that while ASEAN members cooperated in partnerships, they should not compromise the sovereignty of nations, such as overriding the authority of a member state in the deployment of its security forces. The second principle, he said, was to cooperate on a voluntary, non-binding and flexible basis. He acknowledged that there might be circumstances where all ASEAN members could reach an agreement when interests of individual countries were aligned, but in instances where there are differences, this provision allows members to observe their individual rights and obligations. The third principle was for ASEAN members to maintain an open and inclusive regional security architecture with ASEAN at the centre. Members must be willing to work with partners from around the world who have a stake in regional security, as ASEAN members alone would not be able to tackle all the security challenges. Dr Ng noted that the ADMM had made good progress in the security arena since its inauguration 10 years ago. He said: The ADMM has embarked on cooperation to build confidence and capabilities in areas such as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR), maritime security, peacekeeping, and crisis management. Comparing the progress of ADMM with other established regional security groups such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation or the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), he said ASEAN countries had much to learn from the strengths and weaknesses of these other groups to continue strengthening defence ties among its members. Citing the OSCE as an appropriate example of a regional security group with guiding principles for its individual members to adhere to, Dr Ng mentioned that the OSCE was set up during the Cold War with the objective of improving relations between the Soviet bloc and the West, and three of its 10 guiding principles include respect for sovereign equality of its members, refraining from threat or use of force and peaceful settlement of disputes. The Putrajaya Forum is a biennial defence and security conference organised by the Malaysian Institute of Defence and Security, which brings together defence ministers, officials and academics to discuss defence and security issues. This year's forum was held in conjunction with the 15th Defence Services Asia Exhibition and Conference. While in Putrajaya, Dr Ng called on Malaysian Prime Minister Dato' Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak, Deputy Prime Minister Dato' Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid bin Hamidi, and Minister of Defence Dato' Seri Hishammuddin bin Tun Hussein. He also met Timor-Leste's Minister of Defence and Security Cirilo Jose Cristovão.
16 Apr 2016, 1708 hours (GMT +8)
The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) has welcomed a new ship into its fold -- the newest Littoral Mission Vessel (LMV), Sovereignty. On 16 Apr, Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean officiated the launch of the RSN's second LMV and his wife Teo Poh Yim launched the ship. The event was held at the Singapore Technologies Marine (ST Marine) Benoi Yard. Speaking at the launch, Mr Teo emphasised that the seas were at once Singapore's lifeline and source of vulnerability, and security forces must enhance their capabilities to keep threats at bay. He said: The interruption of sea traffic, or of a threat coming from the many vessels sailing through these waters, will have a serious impact on us here in Singapore. To deal with the increasing range and complexity of seaborne threats, our maritime security forces have to work very closely together, making the most effective use of the resources and manpower that we have. An indigenous ship To this end, Mr Teo explained that the LMVs represented a step forward in the RSN's technological progress. He said: The launch of the second ship in a series of LMVs shows our commitment to continue to defend Singapore… The LMVs represent a considerable increase in capability -- at the high end, they are able to operate naval helicopters, which our PVs today are unable to do; they can operate UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) as well. At the lower end they have the Long Range Acoustic Device and water cannons to deal with the lower levels of maritime threats that the LMVs may encounter. All in, the LMVs represent a significant increase in capabilities with a reduction in manpower requirements. The LMVs, designed and built in close collaboration among the RSN, the Defence Science Technology Agency (DSTA) and ST Engineering, are a new generation of smarter, faster and sharper ships that further strengthens RSN's ability in the seaward defence of Singapore. Features include advanced combat capabilities and technologies such as an integrated Command Centre that brings together the ships' Bridge, Combat Information Centre and Machinery Control Room and a range of lethal and non-lethal options to deter or defend against various threats. Mr Teo also highlighted the collaborative work between the RSN and the local defence technology community in creating an indigenous ship that meets the RSN's unique needs. The ability to design and build our own ships to include a lot of indigenous technology indicates the importance of engineering for Singapore. The ability to do that means that we can optimise the platforms that we have, whether they are ships, whether they are aircraft, (or) land capabilities, to make sure that we can tune the equipment to our own needs and also use a lot less manpower and capitalise on the well-trained and well-educated people that we have. All in, the LMVs represent a significant increase in capabilities with a reduction in manpower requirements. Third-generation Sovereignty The LMV, Sovereignty, is the third RSN ship to be christened as such. The name was first used for an Independence-class Patrol Craft (PC), which was in use from the 1970s to the 1990s. It was then used for a Fearless-class Patrol Vessels (PVs) that was commissioned in 1998. In his speech, DPM Teo revealed his affinity with all three ships named Sovereignty: he had sailed with PC RSS Sovereignty as a young naval officer and was later involved in shaping the programme for the Fearless-class PVs, before launching the LMV today. Major (MAJ) (Ret) Richard Teo, the first Commanding Officer (CO) of the PC RSS Sovereignty, was present at the event to witness the launch of the third generation Sovereignty. It's a fantastic moment for me, coming back 45 years later for the launch of the third Sovereignty, said the 72-year-old RSN pioneer, who commanded the ship from 1971 to 1972. The first ship was built in the United Kingdom and brought to Singapore to complete its fitting. But from that time, we learnt what a small fighting ship could be and do for us. MAJ (Ret) Teo was also impressed by the integrated platforms utilised on board the LMV: We are all into the digital age. Understanding how digitisation works in our lives and how we can perform our duties with these wonderful additional equipment and resources will give us the edge. The platform we have for a fighting ship of this particular nature will put us way ahead of the competition. Updates on Independence Sovereignty is the second of eight LMVs that will be introduced into the RSN. The eight LMVs are set to replace the RSN's aging Fearless-class PVs, which have been in service for about 20 years. The first LMV, Independence, was launched on 3 Jul 2015. On the progress of the first LMV, Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Chew Chun-Chau, Head of the LMV Project Office, revealed that the ship would be joining the RSN very soon: The installation of the combat systems for the first LMV began right after launching. This was followed by harbour acceptance test and platform sea trials. With the completion of the platform sea trials, the ship will be delivered to the RSN in May. Sovereignty is expected to be commissioned in 2017 and all eight LMVs, fully operational by 2020.
14 Apr 2016, 0930 hours (GMT +8)
Not sure what to prepare before your enlistment? Get your answers from the new Central Manpower Base (CMPB) portal.
13 Apr 2016, 1000 hours (GMT +8)
Meet the soldiers of the SAF's elite medical force who are trained in managing Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Explosives (CBRE) attacks.
11 Apr 2016, 1020 hours (GMT +8)
With the recent changes to the Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT), schools are trying various ways to get pre-enlistee students ready. To help students prepare for National Service (NS), four schools in Singapore started pilot fitness training programmes last year. These trials - conducted by the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) College East, ITE College West, Anderson Junior College (AJC) and Temasek Polytechnic (TP) - aimed to help weaker students do better in the National Physical Fitness Award (NAPFA) test. Those who attain at least a Pass with Incentive in the modified NAPFA test* undergo the standard nine-week Basic Military Training (BMT). Otherwise, they have to enlist earlier and go through the extended 19-week BMT. The pilot programmes came about from a proposal by the Advisory Council on Community Relations in Defence (ACCORD) to help pre-enlistee students improve their fitness before enlistment. Physical Education (PE) teachers and staff first visited the Army Fitness Centre to understand the Singapore Armed Forces' fitness training and requirements. Thereafter, each school customised a training programme that best met the needs of their students. Fast and effective TP implemented a four-week pilot programme that aimed to boost students' fitness levels quickly. Held twice a week, each session lasted only 30 minutes. Youngsters nowadays are quite impatient. If we're not able to give them results in a short time, they will not be convinced (to continue training), explained Dr Isaac Lim, TP's manager for sports science and education. The polytechnic conducted five trial runs for 106 students. NAPFA tests were conducted before and after each trial to measure the programme's effectiveness. The number of students who obtained Pass with Incentive rose from 18 percent to 44 percent. The students were pleasantly surprised at their rapid improvement. Final-year accounting and finance student Samuel Francis, 20, went from 29 points (Fail) to 63 points (Pass with Incentive). He attributed the improvement to the high-intensity interval training and added: It was fun training together. In the last three years, we didn't have PE lessons like in secondary school.

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