Nowadays sensation news, be it real or fake will reach to the masses almost in an instance, all thanks to the availability of social media platforms. In the early years where the masses relied heavily on mainstream media for news feed and it means receiving it one day later at the earliest.
How did we manage army mobilisation exercise in the 80s where even pager had yet to make an entrant to the communication sphere? If I can remember well, there were two types of mobilisation, one is the 'silent mobilisation' and the other is 'open mobilisation'. Silent mobilisation posed the biggest challenge to recall personnel back, given the tight time frame and the contrary, activating open mobilisation was rendered much easier. The latter required a core team comprising person overall in-charge to second in-charge, to third in-charge, so on & so forth. The I/Cs will be given a list of people's contacts to get in touch with once the recall was activated. For open mobilisation, the code names of the affected units will appear on national TV and also broad casted via radio stations. Once the personnel got the recall activation on TV or radio, they will then head back to their respective units to be accounted for.
I remember I was the second or third I/C for my group. During our active days, we were activated in a silent mob. The I/C before me will come to my house and then handed a list of contacts staying within 5 km radius of my place. We will then list down the contact details among ourselves and went on with our given tasks. We had to do so within few hours time frame and when the visiting task was done, we will don our number four uniform and headed back to our unit for reporting. I remember I went on foot to the residence of each of the recall personnel to hand them the activation notice. If the person was not at home, someone from the house will have to acknowledge it. I think I was given some 20 contacts to get in touch with. I can't help feeling trepidation of sorts in bid to complete the task within the given time frame. Pager was still not developed yet, let alone smart phone of the present and our means of communication was very much dependent on land line. In the absence of mobile phone and Internet, we can still take comfort that majority of the personnel can still be contacted and made it back to camp in time. This silent exercise was even activated when we were reservists. During our time, we had to do few silent mobilisation including one or two open mobilisation
I now wonder how silent mobilisation is executed in present days. Does silent mob using the old method still apply? I think creating chat group on FB should suffice unless MINDEF feels it is unsafe to do so. 😏😏😏