COVID-19: SAF defers all in-camp training, IPPT for NSmen until May 4; some servicemen to work from home

COVID-19: SAF defers all in-camp training, IPPT for NSmen until May 4; some servicemen to work from home

SAF conducting training in smaller groups
File photo of NSmen undergoing training. (Photo: Facebook/Ministry of Defence, Singapore)

SINGAPORE: The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) will defer all in-camp training (ICT) and individual physical proficiency tests (IPPT) for operationally-ready national servicemen (NSmen) with immediate effect until May 4. 

"The SAF will implement additional measures to maintain our operational readiness to defend Singapore's peace and security amidst the evolving COVID-19 outbreak," the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) said in a statement on Friday (Apr 3).

Servicemen in administrative roles will also work from home "where feasible".

READ: PM Lee on COVID-19 situation: At a glance

READ: A recruit’s first day at SAF BMTC on Pulau Tekong – without parents’ send-off

This comes as the Government announced sweeping new measures to curb the outbreak amid a rising number of local and unlinked cases. Measures include closing schools and most workplaces, as well as disallowing dining in at food establishments

In his address to the nation on Friday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong urged people to stay at home "as much as possible".

READ: 65 new COVID-19 infections in Singapore, including 3 new clusters

READ: Essential businesses will stay open even as most workplaces are to close from next Tuesday

MINDEF had on Tuesday announced that it will defer all "non-operations-essential" in-camp training and waive IPPT requirements for affected NSmen until Apr 30.

"Other SAF units, including training schools such as Officer Cadet School, Specialist Cadet School, and Basic Military Training Centre (BMTC), will continue operating and training with enhanced measures," it said on Friday.

READ: 'Right time' to close schools now, says Education Minister Ong Ye Kung

READ: 'Very worrying trends' meant that Singapore could not afford to wait any longer before making 'pre-emptive' move: Lawrence Wong

As part of the measures, BMTC will upload lessons online, ensure safe distancing at all times and conduct training in smaller groups, a practice known as cohorting.

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. 

READ: COVID-19: Singapore makes 'decisive move' to close most workplaces and impose full home-based learning for schools, says PM Lee

READ: In full: PM Lee's address on enhanced measures to deal with COVID-19 situation in Singapore

"In addition, they will be required to reside in their camps and bases before and during their operational duty to reduce the risk of infection in the critical operational units," it stated.

"The SAF will continue to monitor the evolving situation and review our measures to safeguard the defence of Singapore while keeping our servicemen safe."

BOOKMARK THIS: Our comprehensive coverage of the coronavirus outbreak and its developments

Download our app or subscribe to our Telegram channel for the latest updates on the coronavirus outbreak: https://cna.asia/telegram

Source: CNA/hz(gs)

Bookmark