SAF, SPF hold joint homeland security training regularly

Actions
https://www.mindef.gov.sg/web/wcm/connect/pioneer/5554dfc1-0ca5-4d2b-bbb2-3df09d1dbe33/KEN_2968.jpg?MOD=AJPERES&CACHEID=ROOTWORKSPACE.Z18_1QK41482LG0G10Q8NM8IUA1051-5554dfc1-0ca5-4d2b-bbb2-3df09d1dbe33-mrSnjlE /web/wcm/connect/pioneer/5554dfc1-0ca5-4d2b-bbb2-3df09d1dbe33/KEN_2968.jpg?MOD=AJPERES&CACHEID=ROOTWORKSPACE.Z18_1QK41482LG0G10Q8NM8IUA1051-5554dfc1-0ca5-4d2b-bbb2-3df09d1dbe33-mrSnjlE /web/portal/pioneer/article/regular-article-detail/ops-and-training/2018-Q4/08nov18_news
/web/portal/pioneer/article/regular-article-detail/ops-and-training/2018-Q4/08nov18_news
08nov18_news
08 Nov 2018 | OPS & TRAINING

SAF, SPF hold joint homeland security training regularly

// Report by Teo Jing Ting

// Photos by Kenneth Lin

English Melayu

Screams punctured the air as gunshots were fired. People spilled from the building in a frenzy. Shortly after, the gunman emerged with a hostage. 

Summoned by the commotion, two Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) soldiers and one Singapore Police Force (SPF) officer who were patrolling nearby immediately attempted to diffuse the situation. 

It was a stand-off. As the SPF officer tried to calm the perpetrator, the SAF soldiers trained their Singapore Assault Rifle (SAR) 21 on him. Negotiations break down and the agitated gunman begins to drag his hostage towards the stairway. After shooting the latter in the leg, he fled upstairs.

Meanwhile, the Ground Response Force and Emergency Response Team (ERT) from the SPF took charge of the situation. 

The ERT swiftly cornered and shot the man as he tried to charge at them. It was another day saved.

This was just one of four scenarios that the SPF and SAF have been practising on as part of their training in homeland security operations since January.

Co-conducted by the SAF's Homeland Security Training Centre (HSTC) and the SPF's Frontline Policing Training Centre (FPTC), these half-day sessions ready the forces for deployments alongside their counterparts to de-escalate and neutralise threats in heightened situations. 

"It's important (to) have joint training between the SAF and SPF so that we can understand each other's operating concept, rules of engagement and ground tactics so that we can have better coordinated response during a public security threat incident," explained Commanding Officer (CO) FPTC Superintendent (SUPT) Kenny Yeo, 44.

While SAF soldiers are traditionally trained in conventional warfare, the rise of terror threats has prompted an expansion of their scope of operations to include homeland security. Apart from honing tactical competencies, the joint training also enhances operational familiarity and builds mutual trust between the two agencies.

These regular sessions also allow soldiers to be deployed quickly alongside their SPF counterparts during major events such as the 33rd ASEAN Summit, if necessary.

"We need to be ready," said CO HSTC Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Goh Boon Ping, 39. 

"The soldiers (have to) be trained in the skill sets and understand the legal framework (so that they can) be deployed alongside police officers when the need arises."

To date, seven joint training sessions have been conducted. A total of 22,000 SAF Full-Time National Servicemen (NSFs) and Operationally-Ready National Servicemen (NSmen) have also been trained for homeland security operations. 

Gelling together

Trying to fix a schedule between two major agencies is no easy task and it took several months to design the training syllabus.

FPTC training command trainer Inspector (INSP) Indra Devi, 54, recalled: "We came up with the scenarios based on our standard operating procedures (and) talked about how we would apply the rules of engagement for a particular scenario."

The training syllabus was designed based on commonly-seen situations. These include restoring public order in a rowdy crowd, diffusing a knife attack, responding to an active shooter clad in an improvised explosive device and subduing a hostage-holding gunman.

The joint training has proven to be beneficial for 3rd Sergeant (3SG) Rushil Ramesh.

The 19-year-old trainer from HSTC, who guides his trainees on their actions across the various scenarios, felt that he now has a better insight into SPF's operations. He also had to learn their code words and jargon as they differed from the SAF's.

"Through observing the SPF, I know more about their operations and I can guide my troopers…to better gel with them during training," said 3SG Ramesh.

For Corporal First Class (CFC) (NS) Andrew Fung, one of the challenges he faced during the joint training was building mutual trust with his SPF patrol counterpart within a short period of time.

"This is rather new to us – operating in a peacetime scenario and learning about each other's rules of engagement. It takes some time to learn and relate," said the 25-year-old NSman from Headquarters 9th Singapore Division. 

Nevertheless, he sees the value of these lessons.

"As NSmen, we need to be ready to take on operations when called upon. Being exposed to peacetime training is important and by doing so, we widen our operational capabilities."

Suggested Reading
The mission comes first
The mission comes first
COMMUNITY
29-Jul-22

LG Melvyn Ong, Chief of Defence Force, shares how the SAF kept its operations running while contributing to whole-of-government efforts to contain COVID-19.

SAF, SPF tackle terror threats in joint exercise
SAF, SPF tackle terror threats in joint exercise
OPS & TRAINING
13-May-22

More than 700 personnel participated in the exercise – the last time such a multi-agency exercise was conducted was in 2019.

RSAF, partner agencies successfully tackle air threat in exercise
RSAF, partner agencies successfully tackle air threat in exercise
OPS & TRAINING
11-Mar-22

Exercise Vigilant Shield 2022 saw the RSAF and partner agencies orchestrate a coordinated response to tackle threats from the air.

Diving Into a Different Passion
Diving Into a Different Passion
PEOPLE
28-Aug-21

This SAF Scholarship recipient is living out his dream as a naval diver. But it wasn't what he always imagined himself doing.

SAF preps for ops & training with endemic COVID-19
Cover story
SAF preps for ops & training with endemic COVID-19
OPS & TRAINING
01-Jul-21

In his annual SAF Day interview, Defence Minister Dr Ng Eng Hen talks about aligning with the national COVID-19 stance, how ops and training will continue and the focus for the SAF moving forward.

BMT resumes with stricter checks when booking in
Cover story
BMT resumes with stricter checks when booking in
OPS & TRAINING
26-May-20

The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) is implementing strict measures to ensure recruits' safety and well-being before returning to training at Pulau Tekong.

SAFVC fills in the blanks
Cover story
SAFVC fills in the blanks
PEOPLE
10-Dec-19

As the Singapore Armed Forces Volunteer Corps (SAFVC) marks five years since its launch in 2014, hear SAFVC Volunteer (SV) 1 Benedicto Anthony Tarucan , SV2 Li Peishan and SV2 Hitendra Singh Dasoni share why they step up to serve.

Hunting for the best Feature
Hunting for the best
TECHNOLOGY
25-Oct-19

Earlier this year, the Singapore Army unveiled their newest Armoured Fighting Vehicle (AFV) – the Hunter.

Focusing on the fundamentals Feature
Focusing on the fundamentals
OPS & TRAINING
23-Oct-19

This year's Exercise Wallaby training may have been slowed down by a fire ban, but the troops are making the best of the situation.

That Camp Growl Life Feature
That Camp Growl Life
OPS & TRAINING
22-Oct-19