THE Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) said yesterday that it will continue to review and improve the design of its uniforms to ensure that they remain relevant and effective.
The reply was in response to my paper’s query on whether SAF would phase out pixelised camouflage on its uniforms after news broke that the United States Army would be doing so.
American news website The Daily reported last week that the United States Army is adopting a new non-pixelised camouflage, dubbed MultiCam, touted to blend in with a wide range of environments.
The US Army’s pixelised camouflage was described by soldiers as “standing out almost everywhere”, The Daily said.
Defence experts said in a my paper report on Tuesday that the US Army and the SAF work in different environments and, so, what works for the US might not work for Singapore.
Yesterday, Brigadier-General Chia Choon Hoong, chief infantry officer of the SAF, said in a statement that the shape, pattern and colours of the SAF’s pixelised uniforms “were designed for our specific operating environment”.
BG Chia, who is also commander of the 9th Division , added that SAF and the Defence Science and Technology Agency had conducted “extensive studies and field trials to validate the effectiveness of the design”.
“Several versions were developed for comparative testing and subjected to detailed field assessments,” he said. BG Chia said different services have uniforms tailored to their specific operating environments, such as “a separate desert camouflage pattern” for operations in Afghanistan.
He also pointed to the greyish- blue pixelised uniforms issued to the Republic of Singapore Air Force and the Republic of Singapore Navy, which offer specific camouflage for their operating environments.
The uniforms were worn officially for the first time at the SAF Day parade on Sunday.
Defence experts my paper spoke to said the SAF is unlikely to follow the US Army in phasing out pixelised uniforms.
“We did follow the US lead (in adopting pixelised uniforms), but it’s not a one for one copy. I don’t think the SAF will change it any time soon,” said Dr Bernard Loo, associate professor of strategy and war at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies.
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