Fact Sheet: Singapore Maritime Crisis Centre (SMCC) and Launch of SMCC Next-Generation Maritime Sense-making System

Fact Sheet: Singapore Maritime Crisis Centre (SMCC) and Launch of SMCC Next-Generation Maritime Sense-making System

The Singapore Maritime Crisis Centre (SMCC) was established in 2011 for a Whole-of Government (WoG) approach to detect and deter maritime security (MARSEC) threats. The SMCC comprises personnel from national MARSEC agencies such as the Republic of Singapore Navy, Singapore Police Force, Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, Immigration and Checkpoints Authority, Singapore Customs and Singapore Civil Defence Force.

Development of Singapore Maritime Crisis Centre

Established under the National Maritime Security System framework, the SMCC's primary task in the initial years was to establish a common framework for WoG response to MARSEC threats. This included sharing of information sources between the national MARSEC agencies and laying the foundation for coordinated WoG responses to various MARSEC threat scenarios.

Following the attainment of full operational capability in 2013, the SMCC continued to drive efforts to tighten linkages between the national MARSEC agencies. Aimed at enhancing the agencies' interoperability during planning and operations, minimising duplication of agencies' efforts and closing operational gaps that could be exploited by potential threats, the SMCC focused on five key areas: (1) sense-making and threat assessment, (2) doctrine and operations planning, (3) conduct and monitoring of current and future operations, (4) capability development, and (5) conduct of training and exercises. Over the years, the SMCC coordinated WoG MARSEC operations during high-key events held near coastal areas, such as the National Day Parade, F1 Night Race, ASEAN Summit and the 2018 DPRK – United States Singapore Summit.

Today, the SMCC has also established linkages with national intelligence agencies, think-tanks and commercial maritime stakeholders. The SMCC has operationalised a WoG maritime sense-making framework for threat detection, and is able to conduct a coordinated and multi-layered MARSEC response to address identified threats.

Strengthening SMCC Capabilities

The SMCC is developing a next generation sense-making system to strengthen its abilities to detect MARSEC threats as early and as far away from Singapore as possible. The system uses live links to databases of national MARSEC agencies and information gathered from stakeholders in the shipping industry to detect and flag out vessels with anomalous behaviours in real-time. The vessel profiles are continually refined to as the threat scenario evolves to uncover potential MARSEC threats with few tell-tale signs. These threat assessments are then shared with the national MARSEC agencies to cue relevant operational responses. This is achieved using a propriety data analytics system that is developed in close partnership with the Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) and DSO National Laboratories.

When fully deployed, the system will also serve as a common platform for information sharing and operational coordination between the national MARSEC agencies. To stay ahead of the evolving threat environment, the system will continue to be upgraded to incorporate more data sources and exploit the latest developments in data analytics.

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