Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen visited a mobilisation and equipping exercise (MOBEX), conducted by the Singapore Army, at Selarang Camp today. The MOBEX, conducted from 26 to 27 Jan 2018, involved around 8,000 Active and Operationally Ready National Servicemen (NSmen) and 700 vehicles from the 9th Singapore Division and its assigned units.
During his visit, Dr Ng was briefed on the Army's mobilisation system and observed NSmen going through in-processing and equipping of personal weapons and equipment, before undergoing refresher training on soldiering fundamentals. In particular, Dr Ng witnessed the use of the enhanced One-Stop Mobilisation and Equipping Centre (MEC)1, which uses self-service kiosks to reduce waiting time for NSmen. In addition, the MEC has humidity-controlled storage facilities which ensure the equipment are well-maintained and ready for use.
Dr Ng also interacted with commanders and soldiers from HQ 23rd Singapore Infantry Brigade (HQ 23 SIB) and 790th Battalion, Singapore Infantry Regiment (790 SIR). At the end of the visit, Dr Ng shared that, "This is the largest mobilisation and equipping exercise that the Army has held in recent years, nearly 8000 servicemen and majority are NSmen. It is very impressive with silent mobilisation, even after a few hours, we've already chalked up 80-90% of men reporting." He added that, "this year included the anti-terrorism exercise that we conducted together with the Singapore Police Force. So whether it's for humanitarian action, low intensity conflict, terrorism threat, or even in the unthinkable scenario of outright war, I think Singaporeans have the confidence that the Army is ready and NSmen are committed and ready to be equipped to fulfil their missions…If we can keep doing this, we will give a lot of confidence to Singaporeans that the investments we made in defence are paying off and we can take our capabilities seriously."
Over the last two days, our Full-time National Servicemen (NSF) and regulars from the Army Standby Force were also activated to respond to simulated homeland security threats, as part of the MOBEX. 3rd Battalion, Singapore Infantry Regiment (3 SIR) responded to a simulated active shooter scenario at the Singapore Sports Hub, where the soldiers conducted cordon and search operations together with the Singapore Police Force officers and Sports Hub security officers. This exercise is part of ongoing efforts by the SAF and the Home Team to test and validate Singapore's multi-agency response plan in the event of terrorist attacks. The exercise also served to raise public awareness on the current threat landscape and to encourage continued vigilance from members of the public. Singapore's ability to deal with terrorism effectively is dependent on how we respond to terrorist attacks. The SAF and Home Team will continue to enhance our ability to respond quickly and effectively to any security threat.
1 The MECs are designed and developed as a one-stop facility for mobilisation. DSTA managed the conceptualisation, design and development of these facilities, enabling the Army to achieve seamless integrated mobilisation operations and a high level of readiness.