The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) is establishing a new Inspector General’s Office (IGO), which will report directly to the Chief of Defense Force and have the full discretion to monitor and enforce safety processes and practices throughout the SAF.
The IGO was announced on 31 Jan at the Pasir Laba Camp by Chief of Defense Force Melvyn Ong at a meeting with 750 commanders, both active and ORNSmen.
The new office is one of a series of measures taken by the SAF following the death of actor Aloysius Pang on 23 January, four days after the operationally ready national serviceman was injured in a military exercise.
In a surprising move by the SAF, the army will also examine whether its exercises should be reduced and whether it will redesign and even remove selected courses, to lower the training tempo.
For example, certain confidence courses conducted in command schools will be removed.
It will also redesign its training to focus more on its objectives and increase its intensity, so that soldiers can better prepare and train effectively. Other moves include increasing the number of security inspection teams and full-time security officers to carry out checks and audits of unit-level security systems in the military, which will gradually lift an ongoing security timeout from 7 February.
A statement from the Ministry of Defense said that Lieutenant-General Ong called on all servicemen to adopt a “zero-accident “attitude in which they carry out daily tasks with alertness and caution in order to “do things right the first time, every time. ”
“Safety is the responsibility of command. The commanders answer for their men’s training and safety. To do this, commanders must be fully engaged and personally and closely involved in the training, operation and safety of their unit,” he said.
After the death of Corporal First Class (NS) Pang, SAF training security came under the spotlight–the fifth reported since September 2017, before which the SAF suffered four years of zero training and operational deaths.