On Assignment
HTX-Factor: The Leading Edge of CBRNE Training
Teaching Home Team officers the finer points of CBRNE screening, detection and mitigation.

Cats, dogs, hamsters, rabbits, fish – these are just some of the common animals that we keep as pets.

But as a child, Dr Kenneth Chung preferred pets of the creepy-crawly variety. “I was very curious about animals,” he recalled, “and I kept spiders, beetles and ants so that I could study them up close!”

Home Team News HTX CBRE Lab 01
PHOTO: Natasha Razak

This curiosity blossomed into a passion for Biology. After graduating from the National University of Singapore with a degree in Life Sciences, Dr Chung pursued an Honours in Developmental & Reproductive Biology and then a post-graduate degree at the University of Melbourne, where he conducted research with wallabies. 

“At that time, it wasn’t common for marsupials to be used as research models, and my work involved deciphering the molecular control in their reproductive systems,” recalled Dr Chung. “People were surprised and fascinated by my research, and this became one of the more memorable experiences of my university days.” 

A Leap of Faith
Returning to Singapore in 2014, Dr Chung received the opportunity to take up a training position with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). “I decided to take a leap of faith and accept the offer,” he shared. “I enjoy my work very much and look forward to doing my part for Science and Technology in the Home Team.”
Home Team News STG Dr Chung 2
Preparing lecture materials at the CBRE Lab, a full-featured scientific training facility at the Home Team Academy Training Village. PHOTO: Natasha Razak

As a Senior Training Officer with the Science and Technology Group’s Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives (CBRNE) Research Group and Training School, Dr Chung helps Home Team officers raise their CBRNE screening, detection and mitigation capabilities. 

The threat is all too real as CBRNE agents have the potential to cause great harm. “In the past, the use of CBRNE agents was confined to instances of military conflict,” Dr Chung explained. “But as the security threats we face evolve, we also have to upgrade our screening and detection techniques.” 

Keeping It Real 
Based at the bustling Home Team Academy Training Village, Dr Chung and his team design and conduct classes, live demonstrations and realistic, scenario-based exercises. “Knowing what our frontline officers encounter when they respond to potential CBRNE incidents allows me to better address their concerns and needs,” he said. 

Home Team News HTX CBRE Lab 02
Active learners: Classroom lessons, lab sessions and live demonstrations are part of the daily routine for Dr Chung and his fellow instructors. PHOTOS: Natasha Razak, Peggy Tan

To communicate the finer points of CBRNE detection, Dr Chung and his team employ a variety of teaching methods. “Some officers learn better through experiential and visual modes,” he explained. “That’s why we take them through hands-on activities and demonstrations, or show videos to illustrate key ideas.”

Dr Chung believes that it’s essential for the Home Team to keep sharpening its training and detection capabilities. “This enhances our ability to manage CBRNE incidents, mitigating and minimising the risks when they occur.”

HTX: The Home Team Science and Technology Agency
The Home Team Science and Technology Agency Bill was passed in Parliament on 6 August 2019. Read the Second Reading Speech and Wrap-up Speech by Mrs Josephine Teo, Minister for Manpower and Second Minister for Home Affairs.

The Home Team’s S&T capabilities reflect our unique operational context and mission requirements. To learn more about these capabilities, check out:
- HTX-Factor: CSI, SG Style
- HTX-Factor: Robotic Force Multiplier
- HTX-Factor: Crime Scene 101
- Science and Tech in the Home Team
- Other S&T articles
© 2019 Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore. All Rights Reserved.

  1. by Natasha Razak
  2. 19 September 2019
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