COVID-19: SAF suspends Basic Military Training until May 4

COVID-19: SAF suspends Basic Military Training until May 4

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

NS men
File photo of national servicemen in Singapore. (Photo: TODAY)

SINGAPORE: The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) will suspend Basic Military Training (BMT) from Apr 7 to May 4, in line with the nationwide COVID-19 safe distancing measures.   

"With the increase in transmission of local cases, the SAF reviewed the impact of suspension and concluded that there would be little impact on operations as active units would be able to provide cover," said the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) on Monday (Apr 6).

"The recruits would be able to complete their BMT after the COVID-19 outbreak has subsided."

During the period of training suspension, recruits will continue to be eligible for national service allowance and medical benefits, said MINDEF, adding that their operationally ready date will not be affected. 

READ: COVID-19: A recruit’s first day at SAF BMTC on Pulau Tekong – without parents’ send-off

A total of 3,400 full-time national servicemen recruits will have to strictly observe the national guidelines of the "circuit breaker" period - to stay at home as much as possible and to only go out for essential activities.

They will be provided with home-based instructional material on basic skills and fitness development, said MINDEF.

"Other SAF training schools which are needed to maintain SAF’s operational readiness, such as Officer Cadet School and Specialist Cadet School, will continue with the enhanced safety measures previously announced," the ministry added.

The SAF had already deferred all in-camp training and individual physical proficiency tests (IPPT) for operationally ready national servicemen last week, after the Government announced sweeping new measures to curb the outbreak of COVID-19 in Singapore. 

Measures include closing schools and most workplaces, as well as disallowing dining in at food establishments.

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

TRAINING SUSPENDED FOR FULL-TIME SPF AND SCDF NSF TRAINEES

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) also announced on Monday that it will suspend training for all full-time national servicemen (NSF) trainees - about 1,600 of them - from the Singapore Police Force (SPF) and the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF).

Like the SAF recruits, the suspension period will count towards their full-time national service and their operationally ready date will not be affected. They will also continue to be eligible for NS allowance and medical benefits. 

"SPF and SCDF will manage any operational impact arising from the suspension of basic training," said MHA.

Other training activities for NSFs, such as the officer cadet training for SPF and SCDF trainees will continue with enhanced precautionary measures.

"Such training is essential to enable the Home Team to continue its day-to-day responsibilities of keeping Singapore safe and secure," said the ministry. 

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Source: CNA/nc(gs)

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