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Our Trainers, Our Pride: A Steady Hand at the Helm

Sharing his love for open waters and helping officers take on the unique challenges of maritime Policing.
Our Trainers, Our Pride profiles outstanding Home Team Trainers, a key factor behind our ability to keep Singapore safe and secure.

Home Team News SPF SUPT Basha PCG 01
PHOTO: Shafiq Guee

Superintendent (SUPT) Ahamed Basha, 41, cuts an imposing figure, with a commanding presence that can make Singapore Police Force (SPF) Trainees pull themselves even straighter at sedia.

That’s until he pats you on the shoulder, cracks a smile and asks you how your weekend went. And that’s what distinguishes this dedicated Police Coast Guard (PCG) officer. As the Commanding Officer of Lim Chu Kang Region, SUPT Basha is committed to making his lessons memorable so that his officers can excel in their maritime Policing duties. 
Tell us about your career with SPF.
I was first posted to PCG as an Executive Officer on a Coastal Patrol Craft in 2009. With this posting came numerous types of specialist training. In 2013, I was posted to become the Training Officer for the Coastal Patrol Squadron, and that was where I found my calling as a Trainer. I worked with a fellow Trainer to oversee the training for the crews of 10 PCG boats, and revelled in the opportunity to design and create programmes that can help Trainees function effectively in a challenging environment. In 2017, I became the Officer-In-Charge of the PCG Training School, where I supervised all the training conducted by PCG frontline units. I’m now the Commanding Officer of Lim Chu Kang Region.
How did your training methods evolve over the years?
The Tactical Boat Handling & Firing Simulator is one example of how we’ve leveraged technology as a force multiplier in training. The Simulator allows us to practise fast tactical boat manoeuvres and firing skills without the risk of personal injury or collateral damage. 
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PHOTOS: Shafiq Guee, Samantha Fuentes
With the latest update of the Simulator in September 2020, we’ve been able to incorporate many new aspects of commanding a tactical boat, with unparalleled realism. One upgrade is an Eye-Tracker that highlights areas that a Trainee is looking at while operating the Simulator. This gives Trainers better insight into a Trainee’s situational awareness, allowing us to identify any moments of uncertainty and discuss how a Trainee can improve his tactical and decision-making abilities. 

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PHOTOS: Shafiq Guee, Samantha Fuentes

Another upgrade is the After-Action Review feature. In every practical training session out at sea, there’s an abundance of data to be observed and collected. However, there are limitations in capturing this data for analysis as the Trainer must give his attention to critical decision-making areas and training safety. With safety margins built in, Trainees wouldn’t be able to see and learn from their mistakes because the Trainers would have intervened earlier. This challenge can be resolved by the After-Action Review feature of the Simulator, which allows training scenarios to be replayed and dissected in-depth for analysis. Trainers can now inform Trainees about the exact areas they performed well in and identify areas for improvement. Trainees can also better learn from their mistakes as they can see the full consequences of their actions, in a safe and controlled environment. 
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PHOTOS: Shafiq Guee, Samantha Fuentes
Realism has been enhanced too. Trainees need to anticipate what a suspect craft at sea might do. Through the Simulator, Trainers can now control a suspect craft manually, making training sessions more dynamic and customised.    
When it comes to a high-speed chase with a suspect craft, a matter of seconds can make the difference between successfully neutralising the craft or it getting away. The Simulator ensures that every action a Trainee spends in control of a ship is executed correctly, giving us an edge in a real situation out at sea.
What are the qualities of a good Trainer?
It may sound clichéd but passion for teaching is a very important quality. We’ve all had that one teacher back in our school days who burned with passion – you can feel the difference this makes; it’s almost contagious and can help students take their learning to another level!
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PHOTO: Shafiq Guee
As Trainers, we must also know our domains at the back of our hands. Our experience in a particular subject will show, especially when it comes to answering questions from Trainees. When they can see our confidence, a sense of trust is formed, and this helps them to learn better.
It’s also important to share with and learn from fellow Home Team Trainers and officers. Through attending courses such as the Home Team Advanced Leadership Programme at the Home Team Academy, I’ve been able to build networks across the Home Team and tap on other training methodologies and facilities. 

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PHOTOS: Shafiq Guee, Soo Jun Xiang
How do you enhance the learning experience for your officers?
Having a sense of humour helps! A well-timed joke can raise spirits, be it within the four walls of a classroom or out in sea. Some of our lessons span multiple days at sea, so when there’s a lull in operations, I try to lighten the mood by sharing stories or cracking jokes. After all, who says learning can’t be fun?
Share a memorable experience from your days as a Trainer.
One of the drills that Trainees undergo is the Overseas Training Sail; we’ll sail to ports in Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei to practise our skills in open water. 

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PHOTO: Shafiq Guee
We were on a three-day sailing trip to Brunei in 2015 when we experienced the full force of the northeast monsoon winds. The seas were very rough and this tested the endurance of our crew. I was really impressed by the Trainees as they rose to the challenge, applied the knowledge and skills that we’d taught them and remained mission-focused throughout the voyage. We arrived safely at port in Brunei and everyone who sailed on that trip wore the experience like a badge of honour. 
Moments like these are why I love being an officer. The essence of training is to prepare our officers to respond effectively in a worst-case scenario, so that they’re well-equipped to uphold Singapore’s safety and security.  

Home Team Training Excellence (TRaX) Awards
The Home Team TRAX Awards are given out by the Home Team Academy and recognise outstanding Trainers and Training Units in the Home Team’s Training and Learning Community. At a virtual ceremony in December 2020, nine trainers (individual awards) and five training Units (team awards) received honours for their commitment to innovation in learning. Among them was SUPT Ahamed Basha who received the Home Team Training Unit of the Year 2020 award on behalf of the Police Coast Guard Training School. Congratulations to all our dedicated Home Team Trainers! Click here to learn more about the Home Team’s Training and Learning initiatives.

Written by

Shafiq Guee


19 August 2021

Science and Technology
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