On 29 July 2019, RSIS held the second Asia Pacific Programme for Senior Military Officers (APPSMO) Distinguished Alumni Speaker’s Lecture. Inaugurated as part of the 20th APPSMO celebrations, this speakers’ series invited APPSMO Alumni who have distinguished themselves over the years in their careers to share their views on defence/security issues.
Brigadier-General (BG) Ng Ying Thong, commander of the Singapore Army’s Training and Doctrine Command, spoke on “SAF’s Value in Peace and Related Operational Lessons”. His past experience as a senior military leader with command appointments up to the division level, general staff appointments as the Assistant Chief of General Staff (Training) and Assistant Chief of General Staff (Operations), as well as a deployment in Iraq, puts him in a great position to discuss the abovementioned topic.
BG Ng stated that the readiness of the Singapore Armed Forces for a wide spectrum of peacetime operations contributes to the peace and stability of Singapore. This includes participating in humanitarian-assistance and disaster-relief operations, United Nations-led peace-support operations, and coalition-led counter-terrorism missions like Operation Blue Ridge in Afghanistan. BG Ng also shared how operational lessons learnt from these missions had shaped the SAF.
Despite challenges faced by Singapore, including manpower issues stemming from its shrinking population, BG Ng noted that the SAF has been able to address these challenges through careful adoption of technological force-multipliers. He concluded by stating that the SAF is an advanced military capable of protecting Singapore in the eventuality of a war, adding that it will remain nimble to adapt itself to enhance Singapore’s security. RSIS thanks BG Ng for his willingness to participate in APPSMO activities as an Alumni and his contribution to the growth of future military professionals – the raison d’etre of APPSMO.