MINDEF issued a media release yesterday (30 Jan) defending its safety record for its 155mm Self-Propelled Howitzer (SSPH) as well as its standard operating procedures required to operate the howitzer.
It stated that in the last 15 years of operating the howitzer, there “has not been any reported injury of servicemen due to the gun lowering for maintenance or operating in or firing of the SSPH”.
More than 1,000 servicemen, NSmen and regulars, have been trained to operate the SSPH and around 12,500 rounds fired without any issues.
Earlier this month (Jan 2019), CFC Aloysius Pang was injured while maintaining the SSPH. He later succumbed to his injuries and passed away in hospital.
“The well-being of servicemen is MINDEF’s and the SAF’s topmost priority,” MINDEF said.
“The SAF has reduced the training tempo for commanders and soldiers to assess safety protocols and plans in their units.”
It said that the reduced training tempo will remain in place until the SAF is satisfied that training and other activities can be conducted safely.
“The SAF is committed to strengthening the safety culture on the ground,” MINDEF reiterated.