SINGAPORE - A new centre to be ready by 2023 will bring all services for national servicemen under one roof, announced Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen on Friday (March 1).
The NS Hub, which has not yet been built, will be about the size of nine football fields and located near the current Ministry of Defence headquarters in Bukit Gombak, along Upper Bukit Timah Road.
It will co-locate various services that national servicemen need, such as medical checks for pre-enlistees, which are currently done at the Central Manpower Base in Depot Road.
Some also attend medical reviews at the Military Medicine Institute in Kent Ridge.
At the NS Hub, full-time national servicemen can stock up on equipment such as combat boots at the e-mart, and operationally ready national servicemen (NSmen) can also take their annual physical fitness test.
Speaking during the debate on his ministry's budget, Dr Ng said: "(The) new NS Hub will bring together different services which are now scattered across Singapore."
He added that the hub will be built "as a smart complex using modern technology for a seamless, user-friendly experience", and that construction will begin this year.
Technologies such as facial recognition, automation and analytics will also be used at the centre, which will be directly accessible from Cashew MRT station.
It will also have drop-off and pick-up areas, as well as parking on the premises.
Currently, these services for national servicemen are located at different places.
For instance, an NSman might do his annual Individual Physical Proficiency Test at a Fitness Conditioning Centre, such as at Maju or Bedok camps.
The four Fitness Conditioning Centres will remain in operation when the NS Hub opens.
The Straits Times understands that plans for the current Central Manpower Base building when it vacates for the NS Hub have not been decided yet.