But the SAF has shot down that thought, saying that it’s a whole load of hogwash.
In a statement, Chief Commando Officer Colonel Simon Lim said:
“The SAF continues to fully employ its Riggers, particularly for key operations and training. In order to optimise our resources, we have outsourced the parachute-packing function to Singapore Technologies (ST) – a reputable local company.
Many of ST’s parachute-packing staff themselves are former Riggers from the Commando Formation, and all of ST’s parachute-packing staff are trained and competent in their roles. The training that they undergo, conducted by the SAF Master Rigger, is benchmarked against the United States Federal Aviation Administration (US FAA) standards.
The SAF Master Rigger certifies ST’s staff to pack the parachutes, and closely supervises the packing process. All equipment for our specialised operations pass quality assurance checks and adhere to stringent safety procedures. The packing and inspection of the SAF’s parachutes, whether by our SAF Riggers or ST’s staff, is benchmarked against the international standards set by the US FAA.
ST has been packing parachutes for us since 2010, and there have been zero parachute reliability issues. We are confident that this arrangement allows us to optimise the deployment of our SAF Riggers, whilst meeting the full operational and training needs of the SAF Commando Formation.”
The whole fracas because this chap, Leslie Ang, heard from a relative that the packing of parachutes, or rigging, was being outsourced to PRC and “painfully struggled” before deciding to shoot his mouth off.
Other netizens were also quick to jump to the SAF’s defence before its official statement.