MINDEF Says SAF Officers Fly Business Class To Exercises As ‘They’re Included At No Additional Cost’

I’ve never had the chance to go on an overseas exercise during National Service.

Mostly due to the fact I wasn’t combat fit.

Taking flight to a foreign land to carry out hardcore training, only to come out stronger and more bonded.

Image: Jane’s

Also, free flight!

I didn’t know the officers flew freaking business class flights though. 

I haven’t even been on anything more than economy class myself so I’m slightly curious.

Business Class To Exercises

At least I know I’m not the only one who didn’t know about this.

According to Mothership, Sean Lim Wei Xin posted on The Straits Times forum questioning why Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) officers fly business class to exercises.

Image: Upgraded Points

He claims that on two occasions, he knew of SAF officers who travelled in such shiok conditions.

Lim wanted to understand the reasoning behind the treatment and brought up a few points.

Looking at them, I’m impressed not all of them were immediate complaints.

He thought maybe officers required privacy to work on sensitive documents or perhaps the officers forked out their own money for a seat upgrade.

Image: Giphy

“Some might argue that officers deserve to travel in business class because they serve the country.”

Lim then says that all soldiers should travel business class too since their contributions are not insignificant either.

He claimed that it was ‘an unnecessarily extravagant use of taxpayers’ resources’.

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I appreciate that he phrased his arguments clearly and not in a rage-like manner at least.

MINDEF Responds

Of course, MINDEF chose to respond to Lim’s queries.

In another forum post earlier today, MINDEF’s Director Manpower, Lee Chung Wei, detailed his reason for choosing business class.

To cater to the large numbers of soldiers travelling overseas for exercises, competitive tenders for chartered flights provide the most cost-efficient form of mass travel.

Image: Giphy

They also cost less than purchasing individual economy seats on commercial flights.

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He then states that business class seats are not a requirement but are provided at no added cost to the Singapore Armed Forces.

And now my questions are answered as well.


Props to MINDEF for the quick response and clarifying the situation.

Image: Tenor.com

At the very least, I hope Lim at least knows no additional costs are going into this.

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