And in case anybody is wondering if the powers-that-be are indeed watching this forum, read on...
===============http://straitstimes.asia1.com.sg/singapore/story/0,4386,244214,00.html?Pssst... Strike Eagle just streaked by!
Military enthusiasts update each other on the Net but there is self-policing; also Mindef makes regular visits for feedbackBy David Boey
THE Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) has yet to unveil a replacement for its Crossbow light anti-tank weapon, but an Internet forum called Military Nuts has been abuzz with talk that the army may soon unveil a tank-busting rocket called Matador.
Days after February's Asian Aerospace air show, aircraft enthusiasts kept some Internet chatrooms busy with reports of having sighted fighter jets like the American F-15 Strike Eagle and French Rafale thundering across Singapore, presumably on trials being conducted by the Republic of Singapore Air Force.
Net-based defence forums are popular among military enthusiasts who wish to keep one another posted on new developments. They engage in lively discussions on military topics - from the value of national service to the purchase of new equipment.And the people who read these comments include big shots from the Ministry of Defence.
The ministry said it welcomes Internet discussions on defence subjects, but cautioned that classified information should not be aired on the Net.
There is a healthy amount of self-policing by most defence forum moderators, to ensure that sensitive information like SAF code words or information on weapons are not flashed on the Net.
One of Military Nuts' moderators, a 28-year-old aeronautical engineer who goes by the screen name Viper52, said those who post messages are urged 'to exercise discretion when discussing issues which might have implications beyond this forum'.
He said: 'This is especially true regarding restricted information on military doctrine and equipment.'Mindef said that it makes regular visits to such sites, to 'gather feedback'.
Colonel Bernard Toh, a spokesman for the ministry, said: 'National service is a shared experience, so it is natural that our servicemen, both full-time national servicemen and NSmen, take an interest in defence matters and discuss them, including on the Internet.
'Mindef follows public discussions on defence issues and we also gather feedback.'
Col Toh said SAF servicemen are free to take part in Internet discussions, but are reminded 'that they have security obligations when discussing defence matters - in whatever medium'.
He added that most Singaporeans are responsible and careful about what they post on the Net, as they 'understand the need to observe security in defence matters'.
So far, no one has run afoul of the law, but The Straits Times understands that some servicemen have been advised to tone down their postings.
'If there are security breaches, the appropriate action could range from advice to disciplinary action, depending on their seriousness,' said Col Toh.