SAF, SPF and SCDF to resume basic training with COVID-19 preventive measures from May 26

SAF, SPF and SCDF to resume basic training with COVID-19 preventive measures from May 26

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: The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), Singapore Police Force (SPF) and Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) will from May 26 resume basic training with COVID-19 preventive measures in place to protect participants.

All recruits, trainees and instructors will undergo health screening, and those who show respiratory infection symptoms will be “immediately separated” and tested for COVID-19, the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) and Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said in separate statements on Tuesday (May 19).

The SAF will resume Basic Military Training (BMT) for two batches of about 6,300 recruits whose training was suspended during the “circuit breaker” period. Their reporting dates start from May 26 to mid-June.

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The SPF and SCDF will resume basic training for two batches of about 1,700 trainees, with reporting dates starting from May 26 to Jun 8.

“The resumption of BMT is necessary to generate operational units and select commanders for training at the Officer Cadet School and Specialist Cadet Schools,” MINDEF said.

MHA added that resuming basic training “is necessary to ensure the continued development of commanders and full-time national servicemen for deployment to frontline units in SPF and SCDF”.

This comes as the COVID-19 multi-ministry task force on Tuesday outlined plans to exit the circuit breaker as planned on Jun 2, including the opening of schools and pre-schools. 

PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES

MINDEF and MHA said they will stagger reporting dates and venues to reduce congestion and allow for safe distancing measures. Training will also be conducted in smaller groups.

The SAF will continue enforcing existing precautionary measures, such as cohorting arrangements, twice-daily temperature taking and enhanced hygiene practices.

SAF recruits returning to BMT COVID-19 measures
The Defence Ministry explains why there is a need to resume Basic Military Training. (Infographic: MINDEF)

Some SAF recruits had been doing BMT at home, through home-based instructional material on basic skills and fitness development. The suspension of BMT will count towards their full-time national service and not affect their operationally ready date.

SPF and SCDF will likewise continue with existing measures like staggered meal times, frequent cleaning of training equipment and common areas, as well as the wearing of masks at all times except during meals and strenuous activities.

“MHA remains committed to the safety and security of Singapore while ensuring the health and well-being of all Home Team officers,” it said.

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Source: CNA/zl

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