Coming soon to the heartlands: An exhibition that showcases the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) six-year operational deployment in Afghanistan that also reveals special vehicle electronics for the first time.
When the SAF first deployed its own vehicles to Afghanistan as part of Operation Blue Ridge, it was generally understood that maximum efforts would be made to protect Singaporeans travelling in danger zones from threats from land mines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) as well as infantry weapons of various calibers and projectiles.
Images of OBR vehicles shown during a preview of the Ops Blue Ridge travelling exhibition indicate the extent to which the SAF has gone to protect its warfighters. The operation stretched over 2,263 days from 2007 to 2013. The last three SAF serviceman landed in Singapore this afternoon at 15:00 hours Hotel.
Pictures of Singapore Army combat vehicles sent for the mission show that the Army's warhorses sprouted assorted antennae and unknown add-ons never seen in Singapore before.
It has taken three years for the SAF to declassify equipment that Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) defence engineers and SAF ops planners devised for combat vehicles destined for OBR.
Some of the add-ons are believed to be GPS navigation aids - essential for long-range route navigation in Afghanistan where directional signs are non-existent or suspect.
Other antennae are for communications while some are believed to be defensive aids to
Interestingly, vehicles fielded for OBR left their MID number plates at home. While in-theatre, each OBR vehicle was known simply as "SAF *Insert numeral*". For example, the vehicle numbering convention for MaxxPro MRAPs seen in Afghanistan saw such vehicles plated as SAF 5, SAF 8 and so on. In Singapore, such vehicles were noted with number plates in the MID 602xx-series.
The Singapore Army's MaxxPro MRAPs have all been flown back to Singapore via chartered Antonov AN-124s and are believed to be stabled in Nee Soon Camp.
Am grateful to the Singapore Army's Army Information Centre (AIC) for the sneak preview of the Operation Blue Ridge exhibition at the SAFTI Military Institute this evening. Look out for more teasers on the exhibition in coming days.
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MRAP unwrapped. Click here