Senior Minister of State for Defence Mr Zaqy Mohamad visited the Air Force Training Command (AFTC) this afternoon. During the visit, he was briefed on the foundational training conducted by AFTC and observed how AFTC leverages technology to enhance training rigour and experience. Mr Zaqy also spoke to personnel from AFTC, both full-time national servicemen and regulars, and thanked them for their dedication and commitment to Singapore's defence.
AFTC plays a central role in strengthening the RSAF's operational capabilities, by ensuring that the training it conducts is operationally relevant and realistic. Despite COVID-19, personnel in AFTC have continued training with safe management measures in place, by leveraging learning technologies such as advanced simulator systems to replicate operational scenarios. Virtual reality and gamification training tools deepen learning effectiveness, whilst the use of data analytics, artificial intelligence, biometrics and simulators also enhance training rigour and effectiveness.
Speaking after the visit, Mr Zaqy highlighted the importance of continuing training amidst COVID-19 to maintain the SAF's operational capabilities and readiness for Singapore's defence. He said, "despite COVID-19, the RSAF runs 24/7, all to defend our skies, and the AFTC is the foundation of all training for the RSAF to ensure that we have force generation. We have also adapted during the COVID-19 situation to ensure that training continues, and many of the developments you see today have helped us perform business continuity, as well as ensure that training remains at a tempo that we can sustain to ensure force generation."
Mr Zaqy emphasised how the incorporation of cutting-edge technology such as virtual reality and gamification has enhanced foundational training for the next generation of RSAF personnel. He said, "while most times we tend to look at things from the very operational, very hardware-centric perspective, I think it is also important for us to recognise that some of our secret sauce is really the technological developments and Research and Development (R&D) capabilities to make sure that we are able to meet the specific unique requirements that Singapore needs."
Mr Zaqy also commended personnel from AFTC for their commitment and dedication to ensure continued operational readiness. He said, "You have seen some of the developments and innovations that we have also came from the trainees themselves ... these are areas where you see a high level of professionalism and commitment from our servicemen and servicewomen, so that we can ensure that we continue to have a highly professional and world-class RSAF".