Kranji Camp

Kranji Camp


A Comprehensive Guide to Kranji Camp: Home of the 12th Battalion Singapore Artillery


Kranji Camp is a key Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) camp situated within the Kranji area near Bukit Panjang. It serves as the base for the Singapore Artillery Formation, hosting several artillery battalions and units.


This article provides an in-depth look at Kranji Camp, its history, layout, training facilities, and operations that support SAF artillery capabilities and readiness.


Introduction to Kranji Camp


It is located along Kranji Road, near the Kranji Reservoir Park. It sits on 68 hectares of land that also hosts the Kranji Military Cemetery. Key facts:


- Main SAF camp for the Artillery formation


- Location: Along Kranji Road, near Bukit Panjang


- Houses several Artillery units, like the 12th Battalion Singapore Artillery


- Extensive field training facilities like live-firing ranges


- Hosts National Service hub Kranji Camp Resort


As the most important artillery base, Kranji Camp plays a pivotal role in housing and training Singapore Artillery units for operations.

History of Kranji Camp


It was established in 1975 when the Singapore Artillery was being expanded. Some key historical milestones include:


- 1975: Completed construction, became operational


- 1978: Official opening ceremony held


- 1995: 25th-anniversary camp parade and fun fair held


- 2008: New 5-storey Camp Headquarters building completed


- 2012: Opened upgraded Skeet shooting range for air defense units


- 2016-2022: Parts of camp being rebuilt and upgraded


From its birth in 1975 until today, it has served as the mainstay base for the various artillery units supporting Singapore's defense.

Key Features and Infrastructure


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


Parade Square

The main parade square is where key events, drills, inspections, and ceremonies are conducted.


Headquarters Block

The 5-storey building houses the offices of Headquarters Singapore Artillery and supporting departments.


Barracks

Several blocks of barracks provide accommodation for the personnel posted to the camp.


Combat Mess

This is where NSFs congregate for meals. Malays/Muslims have a separate mess.


Maintenance Hangar

Enclosed facility for maintenance, repair, and inspection of artillery guns, vehicles, and equipment.


Ammunition Holding Area

Fenced-off area for secured storage of various artillery ammunition types like shells, and charges.


MT Line

Vehicle depot housing fleet of vehicles like Land Rovers, 3-tonners, cranes, howitzer prime movers etc.


Training Facilities

Include technical handling area, simulators, computer-based training, fitness tests corner etc.


The infrastructure provides comprehensive support for technical, maintenance, regimental, and operational readiness activities.

Kranji Camp Heritage Features


Several old landmarks in it provide a window into its history:


- Old barrack blocks from the initial 1975 camp construction.


- Parade square with original old floor tiles dating from the 1970s.


- Historic artillery guns like the 25-Pdr field gun are displayed as artefacts.


- Murals and photos depicting camp history.


- Preserved equipment like M16 rifles from its early years of operations.


The heritage elements showcase Kranji Camp's long service as the Army's artillery base over the past 47 years.


Key Artillery Units based in Kranji Camp


The Army's artillery units based in Kranji include:


- 12th Battalion Singapore Artillery

- 24th Battalion Singapore Artillery

- 48th Battalion Singapore Artillery

- 23rd Battalion Singapore Artillery


Other Support Units:


- Headquarters Artillery Institute

- Artillery Formation Sports & Wellness Centre

- SAF Military Police Unit Detachment


Artillery battalions conduct live-firing exercises and respond to threats by providing indirect firepower when deployed for operations. The wide suite of artillery systems housed in Kranji Camp forms a key SAF capability.

Training Facilities at Kranji Camp


Kranji Camp houses a range of artillery training facilities, including:


Live Firing Ranges

Dedicated ranges for live-firing drills using various artillery systems.


Technical Handling Area

For hands-on practice of gun maintenance, repair, and preparation duties in a safe training environment.


Driving Circuit

Features driving platforms to train the manoeuvring of artillery gun systems and their prime movers.


Computer-based Training

Simulation systems that use computer visuals and controls to create immersive artillery training in a virtual environment.


Classrooms

Equipped with training aids for lessons in subjects like ballistics, gun theory, fire control procedures etc.


SAFTI Live Firing Area

There is a huge live-firing area in SAFTI for artillery units to conduct live-firing using actual artillery guns deployed tactically for training realism.


The diverse customised training facilities cater to building technical, operational, and tactical proficiency in artillery roles.


Key Activities in Kranji Camp


Typical training activities conducted in it include:


Live Firing

Artillery units conduct live firing drills at designated ranges for guns like the FH-2000 or FH-88.


Maintenance

Technical personnel practice and hone maintenance skills like barrel changes, breech assembly etc in the handling area.


Deployment Drills

Rehearse operational drills for tactical deployment to firing positions like establishing firebases, communication etc.


Technical Handling

Gain weapon proficiency in preparing ammunition types, firing solutions, operating equipment etc in a safe training setting.


Simulator Training

Using computer simulators to create immersive, simulated firing scenarios for operational training.


Fitness Training

Physical fitness development like long route marches, strength conditioning etc to build combat readiness.


Regimental Life

Routines like morning parades, kit inspection, cleaning, and meal times build discipline and teamwork.


It provides comprehensive artillery training that integrates technical skills, operational competencies, and fitness development holistically.

Importance of Kranji Camp


It is vital because:


- Hosts all the Army's artillery units and equipment in one location.


- Provides extensive training facilities tailored for building artillery capabilities and skills.


- Allows convenient deployment as units can mobilise rapidly from the camp location when activated.


- Strengthens SAF presence and operations in Western Singapore to bolster national defence.


- Provides infrastructure to accommodate future growth in artillery formations.


- Gives National Servicemen early exposure to army life during BMT graduation events hosted in the camp.


It is key because it enables swift, coordinated operations by clustering interlinked Artillery units on one strategic base.

Kranji Camp Amenities and Infrastructure


Key amenities available at Kranji Camp:


- Air-conditioned mess halls with halal food stalls.


- Minimart for shopping convenience.


- Sports facilities like a soccer field and a basketball court.


- High-speed internet connectivity.


- Shuttle buses to Kranji, Yew Tee, and Choa Chu Kang MRT stations.


- ATMs for cash withdrawal.


- Cookhouse that operates 24/7.


- Camp medical centre and dental clinic.


- Canteen stalls like Starbucks.


Amenities make camp life more comfortable for personnel working there.


Interesting Facts about Kranji Camp


Some fascinating facts about it:


- Hosts major SAF events like Army Open House rehearsals on its parade square.


- Ceremonial 21-gun salutes are sometimes conducted for visiting dignitaries.


- Has special adjustable cannons to simulate artillery sounds for performance drills.


- Main access road lined with Angsana trees bearing heritage tree conservation status.


- Has a designated army heritage trail with storyboards about its history.


- Location of the first SAF live cooking show using combat rations in 1983.


- Trains over 2000 artillery operators annually. Around 600 artillerymen are based there.


- Former burns training site where old ammunition was destroyed.


It has a unique identity and heritage shaped by its artillery purpose over the decades.


Contributions to National Defence


It has made invaluable contributions to Singapore's defence:


- Hosts all the Army's artillery units and equipment in one strategic location.


- Training generations of artillery operators, leaders, and technicians over the past 47 years.


- Plays a vital role in major SAF events like National Day Parades.


- Tight coordination between units enables swift deployment during crises.


- Response readiness enhanced by having quick access to weapons, vehicles, and supplies.


- Strengthened SAF presence in NW Singapore acts as a defence deterrent.


- Tough training builds esprit de corps, teamwork, and resilience.


In conclusion, it serves as the mainstay artillery base that has equipped generations of artillerymen over the past 47 years with its extensive suite of training facilities. Hosting all key artillery units in one location enables coordinated operations and rapid response.


With its strategic mobilisation advantages and rich heritage, it remains an integral node within Singapore's national defence ecosystem. It will continue to play a key role in the SAF's artillery capabilities for many more decades ahead.

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