SINGAPUR: The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) will establish the Office of the Chief Inspector to ensure that the "command security focus" is applied and implemented in all units of the Army, the Ministry of Defense (MINDEF) said on Thursday (January 31st).
The Office will support the Chief of Defense, General Melvin Ong, and have full authority to oversee and implement security processes and practices at all levels of the Army.
Although there is currently an inspectorate within a particular Army service, the office will cover all army branches and submit a report directly to LG.
LG Ong had previously called a visit to Camp Pasir Laba on Thursday, where he met 750 active and operationally prepared commanders of national services and shared plans for a more secure training of Army soldiers.
Speaking to the media after the invocation of the commander, Army Chieftain Major Goh Si Hou said the army would extend the number of security inspection teams and permanent security officers to carry out checks and audits of security systems units.
These security officers will observe the trainings, make sure the systems are robust and give feedback to the commander of the unit.
It was part of the army's efforts to strengthen the field security management structures, MG Goh said.
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SAFETY TIME-OUT TO TAPER OFF
MG Goh also said the security breakdown that was carried out throughout the army after the death of actor Aloysius Panga will be gradually abolished after February 7th.
All army units will be allowed to continue with basic types of training such as exercise, small arms launch, individual physical fitness test (IPPT) and IPPT preparation for NSmen from 7 February.
National soldiers who could not reserve their IPPT during the current security delay would not be penalized and will have extra time.
"We took a more structured and comprehensive approach to security interruption," MG Goh told reporters.
"In addition to carrying out our security checks, we have also actively involved all the soldiers in order to be able to participate, provide feedback, and raise suggestions to improve field security," he said.
Timeout of security measures for other training activities will be abolished "when and when" will be completed, MG Goh added.
Over the next few months, the army will also try to prioritize unit training activities, redesign training, and transform the scope of exercise, said MG Goh.
It will see the "selective" confidence classes removed from the command schools as well as the redesign of Wallaby's exercise this year, among other things.
First Class Captain (NS) Pang, a 268th battalion weapon technician, was seriously injured while performing repairs in Singapore's self-proclaimed haubica.
The 28-year-old participated in the Thunder Warrior exercise, live shooting exercises, in New Zealand when the accident occurred.
Pang died on January 23 after having undergone a series of operations to cure injuries.
"Security is command responsibility. Commanders respond to training and security of their people. To do this, commanders must be fully committed and personally and intimately involved in the training, operations and security of their unit, "LG Ong said, as stated in the statement.
"Reducing the pace of training will enable us commanders to reconsider, reorient and pay full attention to this," he added.
Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen said in a tweet that LG Ong sent a "clear and unambiguous message" to commanders that units can only train if there is "zero tolerance to any unsafe practice."
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MINDEF confirmed on Wednesday that a search committee (COI) was investigated on 25 January, investigating Pang's death, and the president was the judge of the State Court.
Other members of the COI committee include a consultant medical specialist, a member of the External Security Assessment Panel, a Member of the Security and Health at Work Committee, and a senior national military officer.
No member of the COI is a member of the MINDEF or is a regular member of the Serbian Army, the ministry said.
The incident in New Zealand is the fourth time in 18 months that a soldier of the Serbian Army died during training.
Dr. Ng will submit a statement to the death ministers at the next parliamentary session in February.
Chief of the Air Force MG Mervyn Tan, Navy Chief, Counselor Lew Chuen Hong and all senior commanders of the Army participated at the call of the commander.
Initiated by LG Ong, the call to command served as a guide to Army Commanders as well as to provide a platform for discussion on security issues and a reduction in training pace.
"The Army admits that we can do better, we want better and more determined to ensure that every soldier is confident that he can effectively train and train safely," said MG Goh.