Clementi Camp

Clementi Camp


A Comprehensive Guide to Clementi Camp: Home of the 3rd Division


It is a key Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) camp located within the Clementi area in West Region, Singapore. It serves as the headquarters for the Army's 3rd Division, overseeing A Comprehensive Guide to Clementi Camp: Home of the 3rd Division


It is a key Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) camp located within the Clementi area in the West Region of Singapore. It serves as the headquarters for the Army's 3rd Division, overseeing several combat and support formations.


This provides an in-depth look at its history, layout, training facilities, and key units that contribute to defence operations in Singapore under the 3rd Division.


Introduction to Clementi Camp


It is situated along Upper Bukit Timah Road in the Clementi planning area near Maju Camp. It sits on 82 hectares of land and hosts the headquarters of the 3rd Singapore Division. Key facts:


HQ location for Army's 3rd Singapore Division


Location: Along Upper Bukit Timah Rd near Clementi Ave. 6


Training facilities for units under the 3rd Division


Also hosts non-combat units like the Military Security Department


Started operations in 1975 after completion of construction


Proximity to NUS and SIT facilities


As the nerve centre controlling several combat arms and support units in the 3rd Division, Clementi Camp plays a key role in Singapore’s national defence.

History of Clementi Camp

It has its roots in the 1970s expansion of SAF bases in Western Singapore. Some key milestones in its history:


- 1972: Site identified as the location for a new camp


- 1973: Construction commenced on the new camp


- 1975: Completed and became operational


- 1979: Official opening ceremony held


- 1989: Upgrading works on a scale of Parade square


- 2012: New 7-storey camp headquarters building completed


It was conceptualised and built in the 1970s to meet the strategic need for more camp spaces as the SAF expanded rapidly after independence. It remains pivotal today.


Key Features and Infrastructure


Let's examine the key features and infrastructure within Clementi Camp:


Parade Square

The main parade square is where key events, drills, inspections, and ceremonies are conducted involving up to battalion strength.


Headquarters Block

The 7-storey building houses the offices of the 3rd Division Commander and headquarters departments.


Barracks

Multi-story barracks providing accommodation for units posted to the camp. Each barrack has messing facilities.


Combat Mess

Where combat units congregate for meals. Includes hot food counters and dining area.


Training Facilities

Includes obstacle courses, skill-at-arms ranges, technical handling areas, and simulation facilities.


PT Facility

Features running track, multi-purpose courts, obstacle course, open field for route marches and physical training.


MT Line

Vehicle depot housing fleet of vehicles like Land Rovers, tonner trucks, trailers etc.


Parade Grounds

Asphalt parade areas for rehearsals, equipment displays, contingent preparations, and makeshift sleeping spaces during operations.


With training areas, accommodation, messing, and parking facilities, Clementi Camp supports units effectively as a key Army camp.

Heritage Assets


Several heritage landmarks in it offer a window into its past:


- Old barrack blocks from the initial 1973 construction that housed soldiers. Still in use today.


- Parade square laid with red bricks dating from 1975. Upgraded in parts over time.


- Preserved equipment like old 106mm recoilless rifles from the first decade of operations.


- Centurion tank gate guardian that welcomes visitors at the main entrance.


- Old photos in offices documenting key events over the years.


Various heritage assets showcase Clementi Camp's long service supporting SAF's growth since the 1970s.

Key Units Under 3rd Division in Clementi Camp


The 3rd Division comprises diverse arms and services units based in it:


Guards Formation

Comprises the HQ and several battalions like 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Battalion Singapore Guards. Provide elite ceremonial and combat roles.


Combat Engineers Formation

Oversees the Headquarters and squadrons of combat engineers battalions responsible for mobility, counter-mobility, construction, and maintenance.


Signals Formation

Commands the Headquarters and signal squadrons providing communications support for the SAF's communications network.


Military Security Department

Oversees security for sensitive establishments. Also serves as the custodian of SAF war memorials.


Other Tenants

Also hosts several tenant units like Pers node and Finance services.


Combined, the wide spectrum of units enables 3rd Division Headquarters to perform its command and control responsibilities effectively.

Training Facilities at Clementi Camp


Here are some of the key training facilities within the camp:


Skills Training Area

For technical training like dismantling, cleaning, and maintenance of weapons and equipment.


Demolition Range

Allows combat engineers to practice demolition drills in a safe and controlled environment.


Shooting Ranges

For varied weapons from assault rifles to machine guns. Ranges cater for firing day and night.


Combat Training Facilities

Obstacles, rappeling towers, and urban ops simulation facilities prepare soldiers for combat roles.


Driving Circuit

Driving course with slopes to train vehicle operation skills like hill ascent/descent for motor transport personnel.


Simulation Systems

Operator simulation systems like driver training simulators create immersive training in high-risk vehicle handling skills.


The facilities enable comprehensive training for combat arms, combat support, and service support vocations across technical, tactical, and regimental dimensions.

Clementi Camp Key Activities


Some key training activities conducted include:


Technical Handling

Practicing technical skills like repairing, cleaning, and maintaining equipment like rifles, radios etc.


Live Firing

Conducting live firing drills on ranges for weapons like the SAR21 rifle. Exposure to effects of firing live ammunition.


Route Marches

Long-distance marching involves carrying equipment to build combat fitness and endurance. Marches help forge esprit de corps.


Fitness Training

Physical training like strength training, runs, static station workouts etc to build fitness.


Equipment displays

Showcasing the operation of key assets like Terrex infantry carrier vehicles, tactical radio sets etc for familiarisation.


Rehearsals

Rehearsing key SAF events like the National Day Parade and the Guards Commissioning Parade to ensure high standards.


Regimental life, technical training, fitness development, and mission readiness are the hallmarks of activities that typify it.

Importance of Clementi Camp

Let's examine the importance:


Division HQ Role

Strategic role as the headquarters controlling several combat arms units under the Army's 3rd Division.


Western Defence Nexus

Strengthened SAF presence and operations in Western Singapore to protect national sovereignty.


Training Hub

Serves as a training node for Guards, Engineers, Signals, and Military Security units based in the West region.


Managed Transition

Provides infrastructure for units transitioning to new bases like Selarang Camp which will take over as 3rd Division HQ.


National Service Touchpoint

Many National Servicemen experience unit life, and vocational training, and learn leadership skills during their time spent in Clementi Camp.


Rehearsals Staging Ground

Location for conducting final rehearsals for National Day Parades and other key events like Guard of Honour ceremonies.


In many aspects, it provides indispensable support as the Army's mainstay deployment base in Western Singapore.


Amenities and Infrastructure


Amenities available include:


- Air-conditioned mess halls with halal food catering


- Mini-marts for shopping convenience


- Internet connection and Wi-Fi hotspots


- ATMs for cash withdrawal


- Shuttle buses to nearby MRT stations


- Recreation facilities like gym and basketball courts


- Cookhouse offering meals for personnel staying back


Such amenities ensure personnel posted to Clementi Camp enjoy proper rest and respite from training.

Interesting Facts of Clementi Camp

Here are some interesting facts:


- Hosts the Army Half Marathon launching and prize presentation annually.


- Location for the prestigious Guards Commissioning Parade where new officers march in.


- Ceremonial guards rehearse their foot drills multiple times on its parade squares.


- MT line hosts one of the largest fleets of Bionix Infantry Fighting Vehicles in Singapore.


- Has special dental and medical facilities for the treatment of SAF personnel nearby.


- The Navy and Air Force regularly use its facilities like shooting ranges for cross-training.


- Site where some scenes for Ah Boys To Men movies were filmed because of the iconic camp layout.


Clementi Camp has played an integral role in many servicemen's National Service journey over the decades.

Contributions to National Defence


For over 45 years, it has made key contributions:


- Hosted significant units like Guards, Engineers, and Signals that form valuable combat capabilities.


- Strategic location enables rapid operational deployment, boosting defence readiness.


- Training facilities have allowed thousands of NSmen over the years to hone combat skills.


- Rehearsal venue for National Day Parades builds social cohesion and ties to the nation.


- NS hub that gave youths opportunities to develop grit, leadership, and discipline.


- Tough training and memorable experiences have united cohorts of servicemen.


- Provided infrastructure to support SAF's growth into a professional defense force after independence.

SAF Transformation Plans

As part of the SAF’s transition to next-generation capabilities, it will undergo redevelopment:


- Older blocks will be replaced with modern smart camp facilities designed for future needs.


- Will host an integrated complex for the Guards Formation including training facilities.


- More productive training systems like simulation technologies will be incorporated.


- Environmentally friendly solutions like solar power and recycled rainwater will be implemented.


- The new Clementi Camp will exemplify a next-generation military camp purpose-built for the future.


Eventually, newer camps like Selarang Camp will take over the Army's 3rd Division Headquarters role. However, it will continue playing a key role in SAF's capabilities as a fully redeveloped training node.

In summary, Clementi Camp holds strategic importance for housing the headquarters of the Army's 3rd Division and some of its key combat formations. It has a long legacy of enabling training and defense readiness.


While newer camps develop, it remains vital to host Guards, Engineers, and other units through the ongoing base upgrading. Its rich heritage, contributions, and future role make Clementi Camp an integral node of Singapore’s defence.