Singapore Armed Forces Military Police Command


Singapore Armed Forces Military Police Command

The Singapore Armed Forces Military Police Command (abbreviation: SAFMPC; Chinese: 新加坡武装部队宪兵司令部), previously the "Singapore Armed Forces Provost Unit" until 1 September 2006 [http://www.geocities.com/inescutcheon/FlagsMilitary.HTML] , 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

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.

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

Vision: "To be the Bastion of Enforcement in the Singapore Armed Forces, a United yet Diverse Team of Elite Protectors, Enforcers and Reformers of Law and Order, Highly Regarded as Exemplary Guardians of Military Law and Premier Leaders in Ceremonial Drills."

Mission: "To uphold and enforce military law, order and discipline in the SAF during both peace and war time, whilst providing security support and executing ceremonial duties for the State and SAF."

Motto: "Pride, Discipline and Honour", which is also the name of the unit's regimental Slow March (listen: [http://www.sibeliusmusic.com/mp3/5/4/0/54089.mp3] ), composed by CPT 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.

Organisation

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) and the Special Investigation Branch (SIB). It is the active wing of the SAF MPC and executes most of the operational duties and roles carried out by the SAF MPC.

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. A Deserter Platoon also performs regular raids in residential areas to apprehend deserters and AWOL offenders. The security of Mowbray Station is overseen by a 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 conviction in military courts, or a temporary holding cell for servicemen placed under Closed Arrest. The investigative branch for the SAF, the Special Investigation Bureau investigates higher-order military crimes that requires specialised handling.

SAF Detention Barracks (SAFDB):Headed by a commandant, DB consists of MPs in charge of supervision of detainees of the SAF who have been convicted in military courts.

Military Police Training School (MPTS):Formerly known as the School of Provost, MPTS is in charge of equipping trainees with necessary and fundamental policing skills as well as instilling in them a high standard of discipline.

Security Support Force (SSF):-"due to the sensitivity and security of this department, very little information is available pertaining to this unit."-

Manpower

Provost Marshals

The current Provost Marshal, or Commanding Officer of the SAF MPC is COL Mike Yong Quek Chye. Past Provost Marshals include:

Uniforms

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, complimented 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.

References

*Chiang, Mickey (1990) "Fighting fit: The Singapore Armed Forces" Times Editions, Singapore ISBN 981-204-176-1
*Choo, Martin (1981) "The Singapore Armed Forces" Public Affairs Department, Ministry of Defence, Singapore
*Sin, Tino (2006) "Pride, Discipline, Honour" SAF Provost Media Department, Ministry of Defence, Singapore [http://www.mindef.gov.sg/imindef/resources/e-books/provost_ebook.-imindefPars-0033-DownloadFile.tmp/40thAnniversary_safMilitaryPoliceCommand.pdf]

External links

* [http://www.mindef.gov.sg/imindef/resources/e-books/provost_ebook.html 40th Anniversary SAF Military Police Command e-book]
* [http://www.sibeliusmusic.com/cgi-bin/user_page.pl?url=JohnsonLee Pride, Discipline and Honour Mp3 source page]
* [http://www.geocities.com/singaporeparades/cog.htm Changing of the Guards Ceremony]


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