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Mindef, MHA defer non-ops-essential ICTs until Aug 18; some training to continue with infection control measures

SINGAPORE — The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) will defer in-camp training (ICT) activities that are not essential to operations until Aug 18, during the Phase 2 (heightened alert) period that took effect on Thursday (July 22) to curb the spike in Covid-19 cases here.

Recruits at Pulau Tekong on June 29, 2021.

Recruits at Pulau Tekong on June 29, 2021.

  • All armed forces, police and civil defence in-camp training that is not essential to operations will be postponed until Aug 18 
  • Only training essential to operations will continue with infection control measures
  • Fitness improvement training will be suspended, but online sessions will carry on


SINGAPORE — The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) will defer in-camp training (ICT) activities that are not essential to operations until Aug 18, during the Phase 2 (heightened alert) period that took effect on Thursday (July 22) to curb the spike in Covid-19 cases here.

Only training that is essential to operations will continue with infection control measures, the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) said on Friday.

SAF training schools such as the Officer Cadet School, Specialist Cadet School and Basic Military Training Centre will continue operating, with enhanced measures in place. 

This is because activities critical to the build-up of operational units take place there, Mindef said in a Facebook post. 

ICT activities for operationally ready national servicemen (NSmen) that are not vital to operations largely comprise vocational proficiency training and refresher sessions. These do not have an impact on the overall readiness of National Service (NS) units when postponed briefly, TODAY reported previously

The Ministry of Home Affairs said that NSmen from the Singapore Police Force and Singapore Civil Defence Force would have their ICT postponed over the same period and only activities essential to operations would continue. 

“As an operational ministry, regulars and full-time national servicemen will continue with training, which is important to maintain officers’ skills and proficiency to carry out operational duties such as basic courses and tactical training, with stringent safe-management measures in place,” the ministry added. 

Individual physical proficiency tests (IPPT) and NS fitness improvement training will also be suspended. Virtual fitness training programmes will continue. 

Mindef said that NSmen whose IPPT falls within the suspension period would be given a one-time waiver of their yearly requirement. 

The two ministries said that they were monitoring the evolving Covid-19 situation and would review the measures in place to keep their servicemen safe. 


Two NSmen who spoke to TODAY said that their reservist training was cut short midway, while two others had their upcoming ICT cancelled. 

Mr Subbu Adaikalavan, a 26-year-old development engineer, was supposed to undergo training from last Thursday to next Friday. 

But soon after the Government revealed on Tuesday plans to return to Phase Two (heightened alert), Mr Subbu’s training was cut short. 

He said that the cancellation was abrupt and, while he returned to work on Thursday, “it was difficult to resume work on such short notice, given that I delayed and planned work-related matters based on the date I was returning”. 

Mr Subbu, however, understands that the cancellation of ICT was an “unfortunate and a tough call” for the authorities, given “months of planning and effort”. 

Mr Sebastian Lim, whose ICT started on Monday and was due to end on Friday, had his training suspended on Wednesday. 

The 29-year-old who works as a Covid-19 swab-test crew member said: “I was not inconvenienced by it as it is still counted as completing one cycle of my ICT.”

Mr SA Suresh, 29, was told on Thursday that his reservist training from next Monday to Friday would be cancelled.

“Though it is a slight inconvenience for me since it is now going to take a longer time to clear my ICT, I understand that it is for our safety and, if our safety is compromised, it might lead to a potential Covid-19 cluster,” the senior executive at River Safari wildlife park said. 

Financial adviser Sean Ling, 25, was also told on Thursday about the suspension of his ICT that was supposed to take place from next Tuesday to Saturday.

Mr Ling said he was aware of other military units that were told earlier about the cancellation of reservist training. 

“A standardised way of disseminating this information could have been done, so as to avoid speculation and tension for those who were waiting to be informed of the cancellation,” he suggested. 

Related topics

Mindef SAF ICT Covid-19 coronavirus NSmen reservist

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