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The Singapore Army (Chinese: 新加坡陆军部队, Malay: Tentera Singapura; Tamil: சிங்கப்பூர் தரைப்படை) is the branch of the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) responsible for land operations. It is the largest of the three armed services and heavily reliant on a conscript army, comprising the majority of Singapore's Operationally Ready National Servicemen (NSmen).
The mission of the Army is to deter aggression, and should deterrence fail, to secure a swift and decisive victory. In peacetime, the Army is to be ready and capable of conducting a spectrum of operations to protect Singapore's national interests and the well-being of its citizens.
The Singapore Army focuses on leveraging technology and weapon systems as "force-multipliers". The Singapore Army is capable of conducting amphibious operations with a highly developed logistics force, across all three services of Army, Navy and Air Force, as seen in the relief work in Aceh, Indonesia, after the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake.
Aside from hardware, the Singapore Army heavily invests in its "software". Largely made-up of tertiary-educated conscripts and professional regulars, its soldiers are highly-educated, well-trained and technically proficient.
To equip all soldiers with practical fighting experience, large-scale exercises, up to division level are conducted several times a year, exposing almost every fighting unit to full-spectrum, full-scale war scenarios. Some of these exercises also involve the air force and navy, in order to familiarise its troops with its combined arms, tri-service operations. Due to space constraints, such exercises are usually conducted overseas unilaterally. Reservists take part in overseas exercises regularly and there is persistent pressure on units to improve their operational readiness. Bilateral training and exchanges are also common between friendly nations. The Singapore Army also professionally conducts "tough, realistic and safe training in order to fulfill the Army’s mission."
The Singapore Army is currently undergoing the transformation into a 3rd Generation fighting force. The SAF's evolution into its 3rd Generation involves combining advances in technology and training while using networking to integrate the tri-services into an integrated fighting force. This will provide even greater operational-readiness and flexibility during war and peace time.
The Army is headed by the Chief of Army (COA), currently Major General Ravinder Singh. Assisting him are the Chief of Staff-General Staff (COS-GS) BG Tung Yui Fai, and the Commander, Army Training and Doctrine Command (Brigadier General Lim Hock Yu). The senior Sergeant Major of the Army is CWO Tang Peck Oon. There are also six functional departments and an NS Affairs Department (NSAD) dealing with National Service issues, collectively known as the General Staff and an Inspectorate. The six functional departments handle personnel, intelligence, operations, logistics, plans and training respectively. Each department is headed by an Assistant Chief of the General Staff (ACGS). Also advising the COA are the Senior Specialist Staff Officers (SSSOs): Infantry, Guards, Armour, Commando, Artillery, Engineers and Signals.
The army consists of the following Combat Arms, which are integrated with one another to form the Divisional and Non-divisional assets:
- Combat Engineers
These are bolstered by Combat Service Support Units which consist of the following:
- Army Intelligence
- Army Medical Services
- Army Maintenance and Engineering Support
- Army Supply and Transport
- Singapore Armed Forces Ammunition Command