Dire consequences if army uniforms fall into wrong hands

I was taken aback and concerned to read that a truckload of used Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) army uniforms, including the green digital camouflage ones currently worn by our servicemen, was seized from suspected smugglers on Batam island ("Indonesian navy seizes uniforms with SAF tags"; Nov 12).

The consequences of our army uniforms ending up in the hands of ill-intentioned adversaries will be dire.

This episode reminds me of the raid on Afghanistan's Camp Bastion in September 2012, where Taleban fighters donned United States army combat uniforms and successfully infiltrated the base, causing the worst loss of US air power in a single incident since the Vietnam War.

The SAF must find the hidden hand behind the latest incident.

Perhaps a review of the retrieval, recycling and disposal of old uniforms is needed too.

Authorised vendors such as SAF e-Mart should compel customers to verify their identity, regardless of the items they are buying.

The SAF should also invest in a shredding machine to dispose of used army attire, and not rely solely on outsourcing to authorised vendors.

With ongoing terrorist threats and heightened security concerns, we have a duty to do all we can, including properly disposing military uniforms.

Loong Chik Tong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 17, 2016, with the headline 'Dire consequences if army uniforms fall into wrong hands'. Print Edition | Subscribe