SINGAPORE - Three new HomeTeamNS Clubhouses will be built for national servicemen and their families in the next 10 to 15 years, and two of them will replace existing facilities, said Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam on Monday (Feb 13).
The first of the new additions will be in Khatib-Yishun, which will replace an existing one in Sembawang. The second will be near Bedok Reservoir, while the third, in Tengah Forest Town, will replace the one currently in Bukit Batok.
There are five existing HomeTeamNS clubhouses. Mr Shanmugam was speaking at the official opening of the newest one in Tampines Hub, where he also launched the Home Team NS50 celebrations.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) will organise a series of events to commemorate NS50 for the Home Team, adding to national level initiatives announced by Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen last week, he said.
The events include its flagship show and festival, to be held from May 3 to 7 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium and its surrounding area.
"(The Home Team Show) will showcase the work of the Home Team. How Home Team regulars, NS officers, volunteers and the community work together to keep Singapore safe," said Mr Shanmugam.
The Singapore Police Force started full-time NS in 1975, while the SCDF, then the Singapore Fire Brigade, started it a year later.
Paying tribute to Home Team NS pioneers, Mr Shanmugam added that the roles performed by NS officers have transformed over the years, with more taking on leadership and specialist roles.
More officers are also deployed to frontline and operational support duties, he said, and some units such as the Public Transport Security Command in the police is almost fully manned by full-time NSmen (NSFs).
The police's new Protective Security Command, to protect key installations during national emergencies and provide security during national events, has the largest group of NSFs and operationally-ready NSmen, while at least two out of four crew in a fire engine are NSFs or NSmen.
"Looking ahead... we will continue to see how we can deploy (our NS officers) in new areas," he said.
The new Tampines clubhouse, which has seen over 42,000 visitors since its soft launch in November, is home to Singapore's first indoor climbing theme park Clip 'N Climb, as well as a laser tag game.
HomeTeamNS, a non-profit organisation set up to recognise the contributions of police and Singapore Civil Defence Force NSmen, will also be reviewing facilities for its existing Balestier Clubhouse, said Mr Shanmugam.
Said Ms Agnes Eu, chief executive of HomeTeamNS: "Careful thought and planning went into the concept, design and location of the new clubhouses in order to ensure that they meet the needs and interests of our NSmen."