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Coordinates: 1°20′02.22″N 103°40′49.61″E / 1.3339500°N 103.6804472°E / 1.3339500; 103.6804472

SAFTI Military Institute
The Officer Cadet School building within the SAFTI Military Institute as seen from the northwest.
Typetri-service Military Academy
Established25 August 1995
PresidentCommandant: BG Chua Boon Keat
Studentsofficers of all ranks of the Singapore Armed Forces Singapore Army, Republic of Singapore Navy and Republic of Singapore Air Force
Location,
Singapore
Campus88 hectare campus
Website
Commissioning parade at SAFTI Military Institute

The SAFTI Military Institute (Abbreviation: SAFTI MI) is a tri-service military training institution for officers of all ranks of the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF). Located within an 88 hectare campus in Jurong West, it was officially opened by the then-prime minister Goh Chok Tong on 25 August 1995. Officers from the Singapore Army, Republic of Singapore Navy and Republic of Singapore Air Force begin their training at the Officer Cadet School (OCS), before proceeding on to the SAF Advanced Schools and the Goh Keng Swee Command and Staff College (GKSCSC) at various stages of their careers.

HistoryEdit

Although the SAFTI MI is an amalgamated institution, it draws much of its heritage from the original Singapore Armed Forces Training Institute (SAFTI), which was officially opened on 14 February 1966 at Pasir Laba Camp. The link to the past is preserved in both the name of the new institute, as well as the name of the bridge connecting Pasir Laba Camp with the new SAFTI MI. Officially named SAFTI Link, it is referred to by insiders as Link Bridge.

ArchitectureEdit

There is much symbolism in the SAFTI MI campus. The Officer Cadet School HQ is described by the architect as being shaped like a cradle, from which officers are born (paraphrased).

SAFTI MI sits on a hill. The locations of each school are metaphors for the career of an SAF officer. The lower reaches house the barracks for Officer Cadets. Advancing up the hill, SAF Advanced Schools are encountered. Finally, at the pinnacle, is the Goh Keng Swee Command and Staff College.

A prominent feature is the Tower, approximately 60 m tall and visible from many parts of western Singapore. It is a three-sided tower, for the tri-service nature of the SAF. It is served by a lift and a 265 step stairway which symbolises the days a cadet requires to take towards commissioning day. This number should not be taken literally as the various commissioning courses vary in length.

The OCS parade square is 120 m by 170 m in area. It is designed to reduce the heat and glare of the sun. The viewing stands are able to accommodate up to 5000 people.

SAFTI MI was originally intended to be an "open camp" like the United States Military Academy and the United States Naval Academy. Prior to the September 11 terrorist attacks, civilians did not need passes or security checks before entering the complex. The only restricted areas were the offices and living quarters. Since then, however, the installation has been subject to access restrictions as with other military bases, and security checks are mandatory for all visitors.

OrganisationEdit

The Commandant, a Brigadier General or Rear Admiral, heads SAFTI MI HQ. MI HQ overlooks all training and training support within the complex.[1]

SchoolsEdit

There are a total of five schools in SAFTI MI: the Officer Cadet School (OCS) for cadets, SAF Advanced Schools (SAS) – one for each Service – for Captains, and the Goh Keng Swee Command and Staff College (GKSCSC) for Majors and Lieutenant-Colonels.

To meet the demands of the global environment, curriculum and various exercises of the schools go through major revamps about once every five years. The first revamp was in 1999, led by then-Permanent Secretary Peter Ho, and the most recent was led by BG Tan and his team in 2004.

In between the five years, there were smaller reviews to maintain currency. For example, after mission like Operation Flying Eagle, some of the course content in SCSC and other schools was tweaked. New doctrine is also infused into the curriculum by SAFTI MI after various exercises carried out by the SAF.

Leadership development is the means by which SAFTI MI tries to inculcate values, and better align the value in officers.

People don't come in with zero values, all of us have values from our parents, our upbringing, from the schools that we have attended. With this set of values, it is now a question of reaffirming some of them and realigning some of them to the SAF's core values which have been in place since the late 1980s, said BG Tan.

SAFTI MI has a branch called the Centre of Leadership Development (CLD). This is a full-time SAF centre with psychologist and headed by a former brigade commander. These people focus their entire attention on how to develop officers in leadership.

As for helping officers in handling uncertainty, a lot of different methodologies are incorporated in courses.

Officer Cadet SchoolEdit

Officer Cadet School (OCS) is the only commissioning route in the Singapore Armed Forces. Outstanding conscripts from Basic Military Training and the Specialist Cadet School (Specialists are NCO-equivalents in the SAF) are sent to OCS to train to be officers. On completion of their National Service, these officers will continue to serve with their men in the Operationally-Ready NSmen battalions. After commissioning, some officers may choose to continue to serve as career soldiers. Regular Specialists may also attend OCS on application, recommendation, and selection.

Prior to moving to the SAFTI MI complex, OCS was at the old SAFTI at Pasir Laba Camp.

Goh Keng Swee Command and Staff CollegeEdit

Goh Keng Swee Command and Staff College conducts the Command and Staff Course (CSC) for career officers, and the National Service Command and Staff Course (NSCSC) for selected reservist officers who have demonstrated potential for higher command and staff appointments in the SAF.

Before moving to SAFTI MI in 1995, SCSC was located at Fort Canning, Marina Hill, and Seletar Camp.

SAFTI Services CentreEdit

SAFTI Services Centre, previously known as Service Support Unit (SSU),[2] provides support services like security, medical, dental, physiotherapy, transport, estate, signal and logistics for all units within the camp complex.

FacilitiesEdit

Sport facilitiesEdit

SAFTI MI has extensive sporting and recreation facilities including a stadium with a soccer field and running track, an Olympic-sized swimming pool with a diving tower, and an indoor rock-climbing wall.

LibraryEdit

SAFTI MI Library houses the best collection on military history in Singapore. Previously, membership was only available for military personnel. Since, the management of the library has been taken over by the National Library Board, and ordinary library members may borrow books. The collection is available through inter-library loan to any of its other branches. This is especially convenient because SAFTI MI can be rather inaccessible to civilians due to its location and its security checkpoint.

Since 1 April 2007, National Library Board had handed the operations of the SAFTI MI library back to MINDEF. Along with the handover, the book return service has also been terminated. Ordinary library members need to apply for individual membership from then on.

MessEdit

As is the case for almost all camp complexes in the SAF, all the tenant units share a single Officers' Mess and a Warrant Officers' and Specialists' Mess. The Officers' Mess is located near the officers' living quarters, beside the artificial lake adjacent to the Singapore Discovery Centre. The Warrant Officers' and Specialists' Mess is similarly located near their accommodation blocks. The Officer Cadets have a mess too. However, they have much less liberty to use the facilities compared with the other personnel not under training.

SAFTI Link BridgeEdit

SAFTI Link Bridge
Coordinates 1°20′02″N 103°40′48″E / 1.33395°N 103.68°E / 1.33395; 103.68Coordinates: 1°20′02″N 103°40′48″E / 1.33395°N 103.68°E / 1.33395; 103.68
CarriesMotor vehicles and pedestrians
CrossesPan Island Expressway (PIE)
LocalePeng Kang Avenue
Official nameSAFTI Link Bridge
Maintained byMinistry of Defence (Singapore)
Characteristics
Designcable stayed bridge
Total length100 m
Width14.5 m
History
DesignerTY Lin South Asia Pte Ltd
Constructed bySato Koygo Co Ltd
Opened1995

The SAFTI Link Bridge (Chinese: --, Pinyin: --; Malay: Jambatan Pintasan SAFTI) is the first cable-stayed bridge in Singapore, spanning 100 metres across the Pan Island Expressway (PIE) linking the SAFTI Military Institute to Pasir Laba Camp training ground. It is a complete shortcut from NTU all the way to Joo Koon; similar to the Lorong Danau road which connects the National Shooting Centre and NTU.

ReferencesEdit

  • Menon, R. (1995) To Command: The SAFTI Military Institute Landmark Books, Singapore ISBN 981-3002-99-9

External linksEdit