Parliament: SAF will further deploy planners to support coalition against ISIS in coming months

SINGAPORE - Over the next few months, the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) will further deploy planners to support the multinational coalition against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said on Monday.

The planners will be sent to the Combined Joint Task Force headquarters and the Combined Air Operations Centre, he added in Parliament.

Singapore will also be sending a Pre-Deployment Site Survey team to prepare for its subsequent deployment of a KC-135R tanker aircraft, in coordination with the Combined Joint Task Force headquarters.

Dr Ng was responding to a question from Mr Alex Yam (Chua Chu Kang GRC) about the number and involvement of troops deployed to support the coalition against ISIS, as well as whether more support from Singapore will be requested in the near to medium term.

"At this early stage of our involvement, it is premature to determine if there will be further requests for greater support from Singapore to the coalition," said the minister.

Dr Ng had said in November in Parliament that Singapore will contribute include tanker aircraft for air-to-air refuelling, and an imagery analysis team, which will operate from surrounding countries with other coalition forces. He added that Singapore would not deploy combat troops.

On Monday, updating the House on the progress of the SAF's efforts, Dr Ng said that the SAF has already sent a needs assessment and survey team to the United States Central Command Headquarters.

A liaison officer has also been attached there since December 2014 to facilitate planning and coordination for the SAF.