Don't rope in construction workers for military exercises

Having construction workers do the work of converting Lim Chu Kang Road into a runway was a missed opportunity to test the capabilities of our soldiers and to see how well the different forces could work together.
Having construction workers do the work of converting Lim Chu Kang Road into a runway was a missed opportunity to test the capabilities of our soldiers and to see how well the different forces could work together.ST FILE PHOTO

I was disappointed to see construction workers removing a bus stop to turn Lim Chu Kang Road into a runway for the Republic of Singapore Air Force's Exercise Torrent ("Turning road into runway"; Nov 12).

Getting construction workers to do the work defeats the purpose of the military exercise.

Besides testing the operational abilities of the air force to launch aircraft in a short period of time, it is also important to test the capabilities of our soldiers to convert a road into a runway.

It would have made the exercise more authentic if combat engineers had been activated to remove the bus stops, guard rails and lamp posts, without the help of construction workers.

Doing so would also have served as a test of the different forces working together in times of threat.

Besides building teamwork and understanding among the different forces, such exercises should be a test of the operational readiness of our multi-disciplinary armed forces.

I hope this can be taken into consideration for future airforce exercises.

Tan Yulin (Miss)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 17, 2016, with the headline 'Don't rope in construction workers for military exercises'. Print Edition | Subscribe