On Assignment
HTA Workplan Seminar: Training Home Team Commanders Using 3D Simulators
The Home Team Academy just got an upgrade – here’s how technology is being used to help Home Team commanders make better decisions.

Whether it’s responding to vehicular bomb blasts or chemical agent attacks, a facility at the Home Team Academy trains all – with the help of 3D technology, no less.

Home Team Simulation Centre
Tech tools for training: A mock command post set-up in the HTSC. PHOTO: Tan Ming Hui

At the Home Team Simulation Centre (HTSC), 3D simulation technology replicates large-scale emergency situations to enable Home Team commanders  to sharpen their tactical edge in a variety of challenging and realistic scenarios. Currently, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) and the Singapore Civil Defence Force can utilise the system for joint operations, with plans for more Home Team Departments to take part in the future.

Realistic Training in Digital Environments
With 3D-mapping technology, the simulation system provides realistic training elements that align closely to actual ground deployments. Currently, the programme maps out actual areas in Singapore such as Orchard Road, Marina Bay Sands, Bishan and Little India, and more places can be added if needed. This adds realism to the training that Home Team commanders undergo. 

These commanders may also receive “injects”, or disruptions, that test how they react under pressure (for instance, an impending vehicular bomb attack in a crowded shopping district). 

Digital challenges: Exercise controllers can add multiple injects, such as chemical agent attacks and suicide bombings, simultaneously to test Home Team commanders, with no limit to the number of injects given during each training session. PHOTO: Desmond Ang 

On the ground, commanders often have to make important split-second decisions, and the simulation system helps them prepare for that. One officer who attests to the system’s effectiveness is Deputy Superintendent (DSP) Kenny Yeo, who has served in the SPF for 24 years. Using his extensive experience in frontline policing, DSP Kenny contributed to the development of the simulation system.

“Before a commander can make a decision on what to do with the first inject, we can almost immediately send out a second inject,” said the 44-year-old officer. “On the ground, a commander might not have a lot of time to think before making a choice, so this forces him or her to make a command decision.”

Pitting the Simulation System Against Conventional Training Methods
In comparison to large scale exercises, which require weeks of preparation and a significant amount of logistics, being able to replicate exercises digitally is less time-and-resource intensive, and allows for more officers to be trained. 

Moreover, the simulation system allows officers to review their decisions through a detailed playback function. According to Staff Sergeant (SSgt) Siti Badariah, an Assistant Operations Officer (Management) at Tanglin Police Division, this useful tool helps officers learn from mistakes made during a simulation.
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Playback, review, learn: DSP Kenny discussing the particulars of a simulation with SSgt Siti, who is an exercise controller. PHOTO: Desmond Ang

“Previously, we reviewed key learning points based on our notes and memory,” said the 29-year-old. “But now, participants are given the chance to replay certain moments. This lets us focus on specific decisions and discuss ways to improve.”

Read the speech delivered by Minister for Home Affairs Mr K Shanmugam. 
© 2019 Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore. All Rights Reserved.

  1. by Muhamad Khair
  2. 24 May 2018
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