SAF outdoor activities adjusted according to haze situation

We have spoken to Ms June Hoo to understand and address her concerns regarding the Singapore Armed Forces' (SAF) haze management measures ("Protect SAF recruits from haze"; last Saturday).

The health and safety of our servicemen are of paramount importance to the SAF.

The SAF monitors the air quality in Singapore closely, and has in place a set of activity guidelines according to the range of Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) readings.

The guidelines are consistent with the Ministry of Health's advisories, which are premised on scientific studies on the health effects of exposure to particulate matter. These have been formulated for the SAF population and take into account servicemen's medical fitness and the nature of their activities.

Basic Military Training is designed to be progressive, to ease the transition of recruits into the SAF.

During the haze period, training will be aligned with PSI activity guidelines to ensure that our recruits continue to train safely.

When the 24-hour PSI reading exceeds 100 but remains under 300, the SAF will adjust physical and outdoor activities accordingly to limit servicemen's exposure to the haze.

Examples of measures taken include having longer rest time, reducing the number of repetitions for physical training activities, and adjusting the duration of outdoor training.

Additional measures are taken for servicemen with existing medical conditions that could be aggravated by the haze, including the issuance of N95 masks when the 24-hour PSI reading exceeds 200.

Regardless of the haze conditions, the SAF stands ready to safeguard Singapore's peace and security.

SAF training will, therefore, proceed as much as possible, to ensure that our soldiers are well trained and ready for any eventuality.

Desmond Tan (Brigadier-General)
Director of Joint Operations
Singapore Armed Forces

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 29, 2015, with the headline 'SAF outdoor activities adjusted according to haze situation'. Print Edition | Subscribe