The Singapore Police Force (SPF) works closely with the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) to deal with the terrorism threat under our national Homefront Crisis Management framework. Since January 2018, the SAF's Homeland Security Training Centre (HSTC) and SPF's Frontline Policing Training Centre (FPTC) have been conducting joint training sessions for Army and SPF frontline officers to equip them with the necessary skillsets to jointly perform homeland security operations, and to enhance interoperability between the two security forces. During the joint training sessions, SAF soldiers and SPF officers hone their tactical competencies through a series of training scenarios. These joint training sessions are part of a series of routine joint exercises between the two security agencies. Training together regularly in these joint exercises has increased their interoperability, which allows for SAF servicemen to be deployed quickly alongside SPF officers during major events like the 33rd ASEAN Summit, if necessary.
SPF and SAF Joint Training for Homeland Security Operations
Intent. The joint training trains soldiers for deployment alongside their SPF counterparts to de-escalate and neutralise the threat if required. It is designed to enhance interoperability and operational competency between the personnel from both agencies. Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTPs) are aligned through scenario-based training. These TTPs define their actions, roles and responsibilities when responding to a situation.
Current Status. To date, 7 joint training sessions have been conducted. Separately, a total of 22,000 SAF soldiers have been trained for Homeland Security operations.
Training Modality. Component training is conducted independently by SPF and SAF. The joint training is then conducted as the final phase of training. Through a series of scenarios, hostile situations are re-enacted to elicit the trainees' responses. Each scenario is conducted by a pair of SPF and SAF trainers. The partnership between the two agencies enhances both training experience and effectiveness. The four scenarios are as follows:
a. Rowdy Crowd. As part of their duties to patrol public areas, incidental responses to public order incidents are expected. This scenario exercises the patrol in their application of force on a rowdy crowd which does not possess any major threat, or is not life-threatening to the public.
b. Knife Attack. In the same nature as the rowdy crowd, the situation is escalated with the possession of a potentially lethal weapon. The patrol is to exercise the appropriate use of force to neutralise the situation.
c. Active Shooter with Improvised Explosive Device (IED). Mirroring a suicide bomber scenario, the patrol responds to an active shooter who had killed several civilians in the vicinity. The patrol will apply suitable force (up to lethal force) to contain the situation. It will also exercise their link-up procedures with follow on forces.
d. Active Shooter with Hostage. In the same nature as the active shooter with IED, the added complexity of the scenario will test the negotiation skills and decision making processes of the patrol. Similarly, link-up procedures with follow on forces will be exercised.
Training Outcomes. Upon completion of this joint training, both agencies will achieve the following outcomes: (i) understand and apply legal frameworks; (ii) apply search and arrest techniques; (iii) master the use of less-lethal weapons such as the straight extendable baton; (iv) apply gradual response skills to de-escalate and neutralise hostile situations for operations such as Joint Deterrence Patrol and Coastal Surveillance; and (v) provide combat buddy aid.
The conducting units are as follows:
a. SPF's Frontline Policing Training Centre (FPTC). The FPTC is a unit in the SPF Training Command that focusses on frontline training. It plays a key role in equipping trainees, who will be performing frontline policing duties, with tactical skills. It also keeps regular frontline officers updated on their tactical competencies. The FPTC conducts the following training: (i) First Responders Training (Public Security and Public Order incidents); (ii) Emergency Response Team (ERT) Maintenance Training; (iii) Police Defence Tactics; and (iv) Side-Firearms Training. Additionally, the FPTC develops training contents and conducts exercises to validate the operational readiness of frontline officers in the Land Divisions.
b. SAF's Homeland Security Training Centre (HSTC). The HSTC is housed in Clementi Camp under the ambit of Island Defence Training Institute. HSTC trains active and NS units to execute homeland security operations.
The SAF training unit is an NS unit from HQ 9 Division and the SPF officers training alongside them are frontline officers from the six Police divisions.
Both agencies value the partnership, and will continue to exercise and train together to enhance our interoperability in homeland security operations. Such joint training strengthens the operational capability of both agencies to conduct joint operations, and enhance the understanding between the forces.
Other Homeland Security Training
The Island Defence Training Institute (IDTI) – Centre of Excellence for Island Defence Training was inaugurated on 31 July 2017 to anchor Homeland Security training to prepare SAF soldiers and units to deal with a spectrum of security threats. IDTI trains both Active and NS units for homeland security operations such as (i) joint deterrence patrols; (ii) coastal surveillance operations; (iii) protection of key installations such as Changi Airport and Jurong Island; (iv) cordon and search operations; and (v) public order operations.