A Singaporean lady Ms Tan Yulin wrote in to the Straits Time newspaper to complain about the supposed unprofessionalism of the SAF and to vent her disappointment at seeing foreign workers helping the SAF with Exercise Torrent. She lamented that getting foreign workers to “participate” in the exercise defeats the purpose of mobilising our own Singaporean men and to hone their combat readiness.
This was what she wrote into ST:
“I was disappointed to see construction workers removing a bus stop to turn Lim Chu Kang Road into a runway for the Republic of Singapore Air Force’s Exercise Torrent Getting construction workers to do the work defeats the purpose of the military exercise.
Besides testing the operational abilities of the air force to launch aircraft in a short period of time, it is also important to test the capabilities of our soldiers to convert a road into a runway.
It would have made the exercise more authentic if combat engineers had been activated to remove the bus stops, guard rails and lamp posts, without the help of construction workers.
Doing so would also have served as a test of the different forces working together in times of threat. Besides building teamwork and understanding among the different forces, such exercises should be a test of the operational readiness of our multi-disciplinary armed forces. I hope this can be taken into consideration for future airforce exercises.”
ST Forum Contributor