COVID-19: SAF extends Basic Military Training suspension, 2,480 pre-enlistees to stay home

COVID-19: SAF extends Basic Military Training suspension, 2,480 pre-enlistees to stay home

All full-time national servicemen trainees from the Singapore Police Force and the Singapore Civil Defence Force will also have their training further suspended.

SAF enlistees arriving at Pulau Tekong walking in a single file with safe distancing
Recruits arriving at Pulau Tekong Ferry Terminal while ensuring safe distancing. (Photo: Try Sutrisno Foo) 

SINGAPORE: A total of 2,480 people who are due for enlistment in May will not need to physically report for Basic Military Training (BMT), as the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) has extended its suspension of BMT in light of the longer COVID-19 "circuit breaker" period. 

These pre-enlistees will be administratively enlisted on their scheduled dates.

"They will stay at home until the BMT suspension is lifted, and informed of their new reporting date," said the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) on Wednesday (Apr 22).

The SAF had earlier this month suspended BMT for recruits and deferred activities for its operationally ready national servicemen, in line with the nationwide safe distancing measures. 

With Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's announcement on Tuesday that the circuit breaker period will be extended by four weeks, the SAF will likewise extend its suspension of such activities until Jun 1.

Overall, about 6,250 recruits are affected by the BMT suspension, MINDEF said, adding that their training will be adjusted so their operationally ready date will not be affected.

READ: COVID-19: SAF medical personnel deployed at Singapore Expo community isolation facility

Training critical for the build-up of operational units will continue, to ensure that the SAF has sufficient operational units to respond to threats to Singapore.

"Servicemen in active units undergoing operational training and SAF training schools, less the Basic Military Training Centre, will continue to adhere to the measures previously announced," MINDEF said.

"Servicemen performing critical functions, such as island defence, protection of key installations, maritime security, air defence and counter-terrorism operations, will continue to be cohorted, and reside in their camps and bases before and during their operational duty to reduce the risk of infection in the critical operational units."

SPF, SCDF EXTEND TRAINING SUSPENSION

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) also announced on Wednesday that it will further suspend training for all full-time national serviceman (NSF) trainees from the Singapore Police Force (SPF) and the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF).

Like their SAF counterparts, about 680 NSF trainees from SPF and SCDF who are due for enlistment in May will be affected by the training suspension. 

They will stay home and be informed of their new reporting date for basic training. This will not affect their operationally ready date.

READ: Disbelief, a birthday in hospital and the road to recovery: Certis officer who had COVID-19 recounts his experience 

Meanwhile, officer cadet training for SPF and SCDF NSF trainees, as well as essential in-camp training for operationally ready national servicemen will continue.

"Such training will continue with the strict implementation of enhanced precautionary measures such as safe distancing, staggered meal times, the donning of masks and stringent cleaning of training equipment and common areas," said MHA.

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Source: CNA/ec(gs)

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