The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) has remained vigilant and operationally ready throughout the evolving COVID-19 situation, while keeping our servicemen safe.
Maintaining Operational Readiness Amid COVID-19
Critical functions, such as island defence, protection of key installations, maritime security, and air defence and counter-terrorism operations continue to be performed by SAF personnel round the clock. Servicemen performing these critical functions are cohorted to reduce the risk of infection in the critical operational units.
Servicemen in active units undergoing operational training, and SAF training schools needed to maintain the SAF’s operational readiness, like the Officer Cadet School and the Specialist Cadet School, have continued training and operating with health precautions and safety measures implemented. Examples of measures include health and temperature monitoring regimes, safe distancing rules, staggered mealtimes and training in smaller groups. Basic Military Training has resumed from 26 May 2020.
In-Camp Training (ICT) for Operationally Ready National Servicemen (NSmen) supporting critical operations, such as protection of key installations and medical support operations for the national fight against COVID-19, have continued with enhanced medical protocols and safety measures in place.
Gradual Resumption of NS ICT and IPPT
The SAF will resume training for NSmen in a graduated and safe manner based on the prevailing COVID-19 situation. More ICTs will progressively resume in the coming months, with Individual Physical Proficiency Tests (IPPTs), IPPT Preparatory Training and Remedial Training at the Fitness Conditioning Centres to be phased in.
Calibrated Gradual Resumption of Overseas Training
More overseas training will resume on a selective basis, e.g., naval exercises that do not entail physical disembarkations and interactions. The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN)’s Formidable-class frigates, RSS Steadfast and RSS Stalwart, participated in passage exercises with the US Navy in May 2020 and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force in June 2020, respectively. RSS Supreme, a Formidable-class frigate, will also participate in the multinational Rim of the Pacific Exercise (Exercise RIMPAC) in July 2020. The exercise is expected to involve 24 ships from 11 nations, and will be conducted entirely at sea with no physical interactions between participants. Crew of RSS Supreme will also not be disembarking the ship en route to and whilst returning from the exercise. The Republic of Singapore Air Force is also working with its Australian counterparts to resume short-term overseas flying training detachments.
The SAF remains committed to safeguarding the defence of Singapore while keeping our servicemen safe in the ongoing COVID-19 situation.