Mr Gerald Giam Yean Song asked the Minister for Defence (a) whether the SAF’s longstanding training exercises in overseas territories, including those in Northeast Asia, face disruption due to the recent tensions in that region; and (b) what is the Ministry doing to ensure that the SAF continues to have access to training grounds which are suitable for large-scale exercises and manoeuvres in order to meet the needs of the SAF.
Dr Ng Eng Hen: Singapore appreciates the training opportunities that foreign partners have provided to the SAF, that allow the conduct of exercises of a larger scale and complexity not possible locally due to limited land, sea or air space. These opportunities reflect the strong and steady defence relations with our foreign partners that have been built up over many years.
Short-term disruptions to overseas training spaces did occur in the initial phases of the COVID-19 pandemic, but have now resumed to pre-COVID levels. The SAF does include some level of redundancy in its overall planning whether due to pandemics or other reasons, but thus far all our international partners have given their assurances that they will continue to provide the SAF with access to overseas training grounds for the foreseeable future.
Ministry of Defence
12 September 2022