Country Listing

Singapore Table of Contents


Military Establishment

The military system was designed to provide an effective fighting force that could be partially or fully mobilized in emergencies and yet would maintain a low profile during peacetime. Because the reserves were viewed as the backbone of the armed forces, particular emphasis was placed on mobilization training. In a 1985 mobilization exercise that involved four army reserve brigades, 97 percent of 7,000 reservists reported to their assigned bases within a six-hour period. Selected units were equipped and deployed only twelve hours after the initial order to mobilize. By 1989 more than two decades of effective planning had promoted a well-trained and well-equipped military establishment that was adequately prepared for its defense mission.

The armed forces occasionally were asked to provide assistance to disaster relief efforts in Singapore and abroad. In 1986 several hundred reservists belonging to sixteen army and air force units assisted efforts to rescue 100 persons trapped when a six-story hotel collapsed in one of Singapore's commercial districts. In 1987 the Ministry of Defence had army reserve logistics units assemble food, clothing, and medical supplies from storage depots for Philippine typhoon victims. An air force transport unit delivered the supplies to the Philippines less than sixteen hours after the relief effort was organized.

Data as of December 1989