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Singapore Armeds Forces Military Police Command (SAF MP Command)
The logos of the SAF Military Police Command
Active 1966 - present
Country  Singapore
Branch Singapore Armed Forces
Type Provost
Role Military Police
Nickname(s) SAFPU
Motto(s) Pride, Discipline, Honour
COL Ong Chia Choong (Provost Marshal)
Command Sergeant Major MWO Chong Yong Kwang (Command Sergeant-Major)

SAF MP COMMAND providing security coverage at the Padang during the National Day Parade in 2000.

The Singapore Armed Forces Military Police Command (abbreviation: SAFMPC; Chinese: 新加坡武装部队宪兵司令部), aka SAF MP Command, previously the Singapore Armed Forces Provost Unit (SAFPU) until 1 September 2006,[1] is the military police unit of the Singapore Armed Forces, performing policing duties to uphold standards of discipline amongst members of the SAF. Its responsibilities include security of key military establishments, the guarding of the Ministry of Defence, ceremonial sentries at the Istana, forming the ceremonial guards for visits by VVIPs to the country and other national events, the maintenance of discipline through enforcement and the operation of the SAF Detention Barracks, and search and rescue operations, amongst others.

History[edit | edit source]

Formed on 1 September 1966 at the old Beach Road Camp, the SAF Provost Company initially consisted of one company of military policemen and was part of the Manpower Division, although it came under the command of HQ 1 SIB. In the same year, the School of Provost and the first detention cells were in operation at Beach Road Camp. With the implementation of National Service a year later in 1967, the unit grew exponentially in membership, before the entire unit moved to the Hill Street Camp in 1970. The Singapore Armed Forces Dog Company and Operations Company were established there.Patrick Wong, also the owner of Waggie's Pet Care, the most acclaimed dog trainer in Singapore.

In February 1971, the three companies were merged officially to form the Singapore Armed Forces Provost Unit (SAFPU) and moved to the Mowbray Camp at Ulu Pandan Road in July 1971. The Kranji Disciplinary Barrack was built in 1972, before being converted into a proper detention facility in 1977. The British Army Military Correction Centre was handed over to the SAF and renamed as the Tanglin Detention Barracks in 1972. Changi Detention Barracks opened in 1973, and Nee Soon Detention Barracks in 1974. The SAF Detention Barracks was opened on 29 March 1987 to replace the three facilities.

The Security Company (SC) was added to the SAFPU, while the Special Investigations Branch (SIB) was formed in July 1973. In 1974, the sixth sub-unit, the 1st Reservist Provost Company, was formed, completing the organisational structure of the unit which has remained so to this day. The Operations Company took on ceremonial functions in 1980, and formed the first pretige guard for the German ambassador to Singapore.

The distinctive Military Police uniform was first introduced in 1983. In 1984, a 93-man unit drawn from the ranks of the SAFPU formed the Silent Precision Drill Squad (SPDS), trained with the help of foreign instructors for a performance at a Reach Out Singapore event that same year. The overwhelmingly positive public response led to the sub-unit becoming a permanent fixture, and since then, has become one of the most well-known and visible aspects of the SAFPU which the general public would relate to. The unit first appeared in the National Day Parade in 1986, and put up its first mass precision drill performance in 1988 at the National Stadium. It performed twice for the Malaysian King and the general public at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 1989.

From the mid-1980s, the SAFPU began performing ceremonial sentry duties at the Istana, the official residence of the President of Singapore, and the monthly Change of Guard parade has since become a public spectator event also attracting the attention of tourists. New colours was awarded to the unit by ex-president Ong Teng Cheong during the SAF Day Parade in 1995.

Today, the unit is based at a new camp near Choa Chu Kang. In keeping with tradition, the new road leading to the camp was called Mowbray Road, and the camp itself retaining the Mowbray Camp name. The old Mowbray Camp has since been handed over to the Singapore Police Force, which currently uses the camp for the training of reservists for the KINS unit. From 1 September 2006, the unit was renamed the Singapore Armed Forces Military Police Command (SAFMPC).

Heritage[edit | edit source]

Vision: To Inspire Pride and Discipline in the SAF

Mission: To uphold and enforce military law, order and discipline in the SAF, support homeland security operations, and perform ceremonial duties for the state and MINDEF.

Motto: Pride, Discipline and Honour, which is also the name of the unit's regimental Slow March (listen: [1]), composed by Captain Lee Kah Hee Johnson, currently the Director of Music of the SAF Parade Band A. The regimental Quick March of the unit is entitled Spot-On, composed by MAJ (Ret) Ervin E. Dragon.

Creed: I am a Military Policeman in the Singapore Armed Forces. I serve my country with Pride, Discipline and Honour. With Pride, I will always discharge my duties firmly, fairly and honestly without fear or favour. With Discipline, I will always strive for the highest standards of soldiering. With Honour, I will always accomplish my missions courageously, loyally and decisively.

Organisation[edit | edit source]

Members of the Singapore Armed Forces Military Police Command's Law Enforcement and Ceremonial Company executing a Guard of Honor parade for the President of the Republic of Botswana, Ian Khama

SAF MP Command's Dog Unit performing a demonstration of their sniffer dogs' capabilities at Temasek Polytechnic.

The formation is headed by the Command Headquarters which oversees its daily operations, and supported by four units specialising in the various specific operational responsibilities of the SAF MPC.

The four units are:

Military Police Enforcement Unit (MPEU): The unit consists of the Law Enforcement and Ceremonial Company (LECC), the Support Company and the Special Security and Protection (SSP) Branch. It is the active wing of the SAF MPC and executes most of the operational and ceremonial duties and roles carried out by the SAF MPC. MPEU is currently let by CO MPEU, LTC Kenny Loh Hee Kiang who is assisted by his Regimental Sergeant Major, 1WO Zulkarnaen.

The LECC was formed by combining the former Active Provost Company (APC) and the former Zone Provost Company (ZPC). Its duties include most of the important ceremonial duties required within the SAF as previously handled by the APC, and a traffic platoon which ensures the compliance of traffic regulations by military personnel on the road as well as performing escort duties. It also performs regular raids for contraband and/or miscreants on various camps of the SAF as was conducted by the ZPC.

Enforcement Platoon (also known as Platoon 2) performs regular operations in residential areas, workplaces, and many public places such as shopping centres, clubs and eating outlets to apprehend deserters, AWOL offenders, drug addicts and other military criminals. They work closely with the Singapore Police Force and are often in very dangerous situations and are extremely well trained for handling the varied scenarios that they find themselves in. This is also the platoon that enforces the public image of the SAF by booking offenders who smoke in uniform and commit other offences in uniform while in the eye of the public.

The management of Mowbray Station is overseen by the Escort and Processing Office (EPO) platoon who is also in charge of registering and detaining suspects and offenders of military crimes in holding cells. The station is similar to a civilian police station and it is usually the first stop for detainees before their transfer to the detention barracks after being formally charged by their unit or a temporary holding cell for servicemen placed under Closed Arrest.

Since 31 December 2008, MPEU has heralded the inclusion of a new branch within its ranks. The Special Security and Protection (SSP) Branch is involved in sensitive operations so no further information is available.

Special Investigation Branch (SIB): The investigative branch for the SAF, the Special Investigation Branch (SIB) investigates higher-order military crimes that requires specialised handling. The current Head SIB is Chan Choon Meng.

SAF Detention Barracks (SAFDB): Headed by a commandant, the SAFDB consists of MPs in charge of supervision of detainees of the SAF who have been charged in accordance to the SAF Act (Chapter 295). The current Commandant of SAFDB is SLTC Lim Hock Siong who is assisted by his Barrack Sergeant Major 2WO .

Military Police Training School (MPTS): Formerly known as the School of Provost, MPTS is in charge of equipping trainees with necessary and fundamental military policing skills as well as instilling in them a high standard of discipline through the vocational courses and specialised courses such as the Silent Precision Drill Courses (SPDS). MPTS also provide legislation courses for senior commanders all over the SAF. In addition, the SAF Military Working Dog Unit (SAF MWDU) is a wing under MPTS and it is in charge of all dog training and doctrine matters of the SAF. MPTS is currently led by CO MPTS, SWO Ger Ah Kee, who is assisted by his Chief Instructor, MWO Seah Yong Seng and School Sergeant Major, MWO Abdul Jaffar.

SAF MP Command Headquarters (HQ): The Head Quarters of the Command comprises various branches, namely the Human Resource (HR), Intelligences and Security Branch (ISB), General Staff Branch (GS), the Special Investigation Branch (SIB) and Logistics Branch. Each branch is headed by a branch head who serves concurrently as the Command's Manpower, Intelligence, Ops and Training and Logistics Officer. Command HQ is led by Commander, COL Ong Chia Choong, assisted by the Command Sergeant Major, MWO Chong Yong Kwang.

Manpower[edit | edit source]

Provost Marshals/Commander[edit | edit source]

The current Commander, formerly Provost Marshal of the SAF MP Command is COL Ong Chia Choong. Past Provost Marshals/ Commanders include:

Rank Name In office
MAJ (Ret) Lim Choon Mong 1 September 1970 to 1 November 1972
LTC (Ret) Niaz Mohamed Shah 1 November 1972 to 14 May 1974
LTC (Ret) Simon Koh 14 May 1974 to 15 December 1976
LTC (Ret) Guang Yap Pin 15 December 1976 to 1 February 1980
LTC (Ret) Tan Lai Kok 1 February 1980 to 31 December 1982
LTC (Ret) Lee Meng Tong 31 December 1983 to 1 December 1984
LTC (Ret) Lim Theam Poh 1 December 1984 to 14 April 1991
COL (Ret) Ng Eng Hua 14 April 1991 to 29 June 1994
LTC (Ret) Chew Kian Seng 29 June 1994 to 17 January 1997
COL (Ret) Oh Beng Chin 17 January 1997 to 6 July 2000
COL (Ret) Cheang Kai Hien 6 July 2000 to 15 December 2003
LTC Chan Wei Gan 15 December 2003 to 1 July 2007
COL Chan Wei Gan 1 July 2007 to 20 July 2007
COL (Ret) Mike Yong 20 July 2007 to 30 Sep 2011
COL Ong Chia Choong 30 Sep 2011 to Present

Formation/Command Sergeant-Major[edit | edit source]

The current Command Sergeant-Major of the SAF MP Command is MWO Chong Yong Kwang. Past Command Sergeant-Major include:

Rank Name
MWO Amar Singh
SWO (Ret) Amar Singh
SWO Ger Ah Kee
MWO Chong Yong Kwang

Uniforms[edit | edit source]

File:SAFPU NDP'05 01.jpg

The uniforms of the SAFMPC are rarely modified, but are sometimes done for the purpose of performances. These members had their white helmets replaced by red peak caps usually worn with the no.1 uniform for a National Day Parade performance in Marina South.

As is the case for other members of the Singapore Armed Forces, SAFMPC members wear a variation of uniforms for each specific usage or occasion. They are, however, probably most distinctively identified by the Olive Drab-coloured no.3 uniform shirt and pants (gartered ankles) worn by members of the military police, complemented by a white cotton stable belt, white lanyard with whistle, a white helmet with the letters "MP" in red type or a blue beret, and combat boots. This attire was first introduced in 1983, and has remained largely unchanged, even after most of the SAF has adopted the camouflage-coloured no.4 uniform from 1985. The camouflage uniform may also be worn, but SAFMPC members are distinguished by wearing a black leather brassard on the right arm, with the letters "MP" in orange.

In ceremonial occasions and other important official functions, such as in the forming of the Guard of Honour for visiting VIPs and the Singapore Armed Forces Day, when performing ceremonial guard duties at important state institutions such as the Istana, members of the SAFMPC wear the army no.1 uniform.

The SAFMPC is the only unit in the SAF to don a unique cap badge design incorporating elements from the crest of the Singapore Police Force and the Armed forces, featuring the Coat of Arms and laurels from the SAF crest, but with the words "SAF Military Police" on a ribbon design similar to the SPF's crest.

Notes[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

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