SINGAPORE - Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen was in Switzerland from Oct 17 to 18 with a delegation from Singapore to study the country's conscription systems.
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Full press statement from the MINDEF:
CSNS delegation concludes visit to study conscription systems in Switzerland
SINGAPORE - Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen led a delegation to study conscription systems in Finland from Oct 16 to 17 and in Switzerland from Oct 17 to 18.
The delegation included Minister of State for Defence Dr Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman and Chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Defence and Foreign Affairs Dr Lim Wee Kiak.
The delegation was briefed on the Swiss conscription system. It was noted that Switzerland has enjoyed peace for more than two hundred years and there continues to be strong public support for conscription.
The delegation also learnt how the Swiss Armed Forces strengthens employers' support for conscription through various engagement activities, which allow the employers to better appreciate how military training develops the individual and brings value to their companies.
While in Switzerland, Dr Ng was hosted by and met President of the Swiss Confederation and Head of the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport Ueli Maurer.
He also met Chief of the Swiss Armed Forces Lieutenant General (LG) André Blattmann and Commander of the Swiss Air Force LG Aldo Schellenberg. The visit underscores the friendly defence relations between Singapore and Switzerland.
The delegation visited Payerne Air Base and was briefed on how conscripts support the operations of the air base. The delegation also interacted with Swiss reservists on their annual refresher training and learnt how they maintained their military skills and technical competencies.
Speaking at the end of the trip, Dr Ng said, "The Swiss take great pride in their conscription system which has maintained their neutrality and independence and receives strong support through the generations.
"The Swiss Armed Forces has an efficient conscript training system which takes into consideration conscripts' abilities, motivation and aptitude during the assignment of military vocations.
"Women can also volunteer for conscription. The CSNS will review the lessons learnt and consider ways to optimise the contributions of our servicemen."
The third phase of public consultation by the CSNS will involve discussion of proposals in more detail.
Members of the public who wish to participate can find out more at www.strengthenNS.sg.