In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) has suspended all large scale overseas exercises, including Exercise Wallaby, which is the largest overseas exercise held in Queensland, Australia, said the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) on Tuesday (12 May).
If the COVID-19 conditions improve, the Ministry noted that Singapore will continue with smaller-scale training activities in full compliance with the safety requirements to prevent the spread of the disease.
In its statement, MINDEF expressed gratitude and appreciation for the strong support by the Australian authorities – which include the Australian Government, the Australian Department of Defence, the Australian Defence Force, and the local communities of Rockhampton and Livingstone Shire – for the SAF training there over the years.
“Our bilateral defence ties with Australia continue to be strong,” said the Ministry.
“The joint development of training areas and advanced training facilities in Central and North Queensland will deepen defence cooperation and benefit both armed forces and defence establishments for many years to come. We look forward to future editions of Exercise Wallaby,” it added.
Commenced since 1990, Exercise Wallaby is SAF’s largest overseas exercise that is held at the Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA) in Queensland, Australia.
Earlier on 22 April, it was reported that MINDEF had extended the suspension of Basic Military Training (BMT) and deferment of Operationally Ready National Service (ORNS) activities in tandem with the extension of circuit breaker period until 1 June.
According to the Ministry, some 6,250 recruits are affected by the BMT suspension amid the circuit breaker period.
It stated that 2,480 pre-enlistees who are due for enlistment in May 2020 will be administratively enlisted on their scheduled enlistment dates, and need not physically report for BMT.