The third External Review Panel on SAF Safety (ERPSS) made its first field visit to the Basic Military Training Centre (BMTC) this morning. During the visit, members of the panel were briefed on the efforts that the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) has taken to enhance its safety management systems and strengthen its safety culture. They were also briefed on the safe management measures against COVID-19 that have been put in place at BMTC. This was followed by a visit to the Tekong 100m range where the members observed recruits undergoing their basic trainfire package and saw first-hand how safety was embedded into ground practices.
Speaking after the visit, Chairman of the third ERPSS, Mr Heng Chiang Gnee said, "Based on the SAF structure and systems, MINDEF has clearly spelled out that safety is a part of the mission and in order to achieve that sustained outcome, there are six core ideas that we want everybody to have in their head. It includes having that mindset and that belief that all accidents are preventable." Mr Heng added that the continued strengthening of personal ownership and responsibility over safety including a zero-accident mindset amongst junior commanders and servicemen is essential.
Sharing his thoughts on the inauguration of the third ERPSS and his experience having been involved with the ERPSS since the first Panel, Mr Heng said, "I have been involved with ERPSS for eight years, I have seen how it has evolved and I must say that the level of maturity in the safety management system in the SAF is amongst [those of] leading private sector companies. I would say that the SAF is up there."
The third ERPSS, comprising relevant experts from the government, industry and professional sectors, was inaugurated in February 2021 for three years to continue assessing the SAF's safety practices and recommend improvements. The third ERPSS will visit various formations and units across the SAF over the course of its tenure to get a first-hand view of how safety is implemented and managed on the ground.