Singapore ramps up military training in Australia

by L&D09 May 2016
Due to the fact that the city-state of Singapore doesn't have the space required for military training, they have instead been using Australian facilities.
 
This includes, among other things, their jet pilots training at RAAF Pearce, Western Australian, while their helicopter pilots train at the Australian Army Aviation Centre at Oakey, Queensland.
 
Now, under a new agreement, Singapore plans to more than double the number of troops training in Australia and triple the time they can spend training.
 
This will involve Singapore paying $2.25 billion to upgrade facilities at the Shoalwater Bay Training Area and Townsville Field Training Areas, for use by up to 14,000 troops for 18 weeks each year.
 
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said that the Singapore armed forces will benefit greatly from increased access to Australian military training areas, and that the agreement strengthens Australia and Singapore’s already strong Defence partnership.
 
“This will bring us closer as Defence partners and generate significant local economic activity in Queensland. It will approximately double the Singapore armed forces existing access to training facilities in Australia, and will give a much needed boost to local economies in North Queensland over the next 25 years,” he said.
 
“Singapore will invest up to $2.25 billion in the expansion of two of our most important military training facilities the Shoalwater Bay training area and the Townsville field training area. This is going to create thousands of jobs in construction, in tourism, in investment. It is a very, very significant commitment to investment in North Queensland.”
 
Turnbull added that those facilities will be developed so that when Singaporean troops are not using them, they will be available for the Australian Army. 
 
The training announcement is part of a comprehensive strategic partnership pact agreed by Turnbull and the Singaporean PM Lee Hsien Loong this week.

 

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