SINGAPORE: All full-time national servicemen (NSFs) eligible for combat and combat support vocations, except Commandos, Naval Divers and those in Support vocations, will complete their Basic Military Training (BMT) on Pulau Tekong under the One-BMT programme.
This includes those enlisted directly into combat units, or what is commonly known as mono-intake units, Second Minister for Defence Ong Ye Kung said on Friday (Mar 2).
For example, recruits directly enlisted into the 3rd Battalion, Singapore Infantry Regiment will no longer undergo BMT at Selarang Camp, where the unit is located.
"Hence, mono-intake units will now be enlisted to BMTC (Basic Military Training Centre) for a common nine-week BMT and stay together as a unit from the start of their NS (National Service) journey," Mr Ong said.
"These NSFs will benefit from BMTC’s dedicated training experience, infrastructure and use of technology. Most importantly, they will share a common experience, within the unit, and within the SAF (Singapore Armed Forces) tribe."
One-BMT recruits selected for Command Schools may, upon graduation, return to their One-BMT unit. "Building our combat units from BMT maximises opportunities to strengthen unit identity and cohesion," the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) said in a press release.
Meanwhile, the programme allows for the consolidation of training expertise and knowledge management within BMTC, meaning training can be conducted more efficiently, MINDEF said.
"Together with enhanced fitness programmes, servicemen of different fitness levels will be challenged to improve their fitness, while still training in a safe environment," it added.
In 2016, the SAF started a trial to conduct BMT for Army combat units on Pulau Tekong, rather than at the units’ camps. More than 2,500 NSFs have gone through the programme.
The One-BMT programme has been fully implemented since last November.
"Since the establishment of BMTC in 1987, completing basic training on Pulau Tekong has become a rite of passage for many male Singaporeans," Mr Ong said.