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Military of Singapore

Singapore relies primarily on its own defense forces[?], which are continuously being modernized. Its military was formed after the British pulled out of Singapore in December 1971. The defense budget accounts for approximately 28% of government operating expenditures (or 5% of GDP). A career military force of 20,000 is supplemented by 55,000 persons on active National Service, which is compulsory for able-bodied young men, and another 225,000 reservists. Singapore defense forces engage in joint training with all the ASEAN nations and with the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, and India.

Singapore is a member of the Five Power Defence Arrangement[?] together with the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and Malaysia. Designed to replace the former defense role of the British in the Singapore-Malaysia area, the arrangement obligates members to consult in the event of external threat and provides for stationing Commonwealth forces in Singapore.

Singapore has consistently supported a strong U.S. military presence in the Asia-Pacific region. In 1990, the U.S. and Singapore signed a Memorandum of Understanding[?] (MOU) which allows the U.S. access to Singapore facilities at Paya Lebar Airbase[?] and the Sembawang[?] wharves. Under the MOU, a U.S. Navy logistics unit was established in Singapore in 1992; U.S. fighter aircraft deploy periodically to Singapore for exercises, and a number of U.S. military vessels visit Singapore. The MOU was amended in 1999 to permit U.S. naval vessels to berth at the Changi Naval Base[?], which was completed in early 2001.

Military branches:

  • Army (Four divisions: Div 3, Div 6, Div 9 and People's Defence Forces)
  • Air Force (Seventeen squadrons and four air bases)
  • Navy (Seven squadrons and two naval bases)
  • Police

Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 1,354,857 (2002 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 986,101 (2002 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $4.47 billion (FY01/02 est.)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 4.9% (FY01/02)

See also : Singapore



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