On Assignment
SGSecure: SPF Held Largest Ever Counter-Terrorism Exercise to Prepare for Terror Attack
An islandwide counter-terrorism exercise from 17 to 18 October 2016.

The Singapore Police Force (SPF), with the support of the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA), Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and the People’s Association (PA), conducted an islandwide counter-terrorism exercise from 17 to 18 October 2016.

Officers from the SPF and the SAF started the 18-hour exercise on the morning of 17 October by conducting joint deterrence patrols at several public places such as the shopping malls, MRT stations and bus interchanges, while officers from the ICA and the SAF patrolled the land checkpoints.

SAF’s Peacekeeper Protected Response Vehicle (PRV) was also deployed alongside a Police Fast Response Car (FRC) at the Marina Bay financial centre in response to a simulated situation where the terror threat was at its height.

Designed to strengthen the nation’s capacity to deal with terrorist attacks, the exercise simulated and tested the Home Team’s and SAF’s emergency readiness and joint response to a series of mock firearm attacks and explosions of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) that happened concurrently at different parts of the island when night fell.

The multi-agency exercise was an essential element in the Home Team’s preparation for an integrated, coordinated response with its partners, in the fight against terrorism. The real-time scenarios also gave all participating agencies an opportunity to strengthen inter-agency crisis communication and major incident management capabilities.

Officers from the Singapore Police Force's specially trained Emergency Response Team (ERT) charging in to combat terrorist gunmen at Tampines Central. (PHOTO: Nizam Neti)

The Anti-Swarming Team (AST) from the SPF's Special Operations Command swiftly moving in to take down the gunmen and rescue frightened hostages at Tampines Central during the exercise. (PHOTO: Nizam Neti)

The ASTs neutralizing a firearm attack and suicide bomb threat. (PHOTO: Nizam Neti)

“It’s a very important exercise to bring together all the different security agencies from the Home Team and SAF….What’s important as well is individual response, community response. No matter how fast the security agencies are, there will always be the first few minutes where whatever you do is important in saving yourself and the people around you. So, even as our security forces have to be ready, as individuals, we also have to be prepared,” said Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Mr Teo Chee Hean while speaking to reporters in the wee hours of this morning after observing the exercise at Tampines Central.

DPM Teo was accompanied by Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law Mr K Shanmugam and Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs Mr Amrin Amin.

Should an actual terror attack occur, the SPF’s specially trained Emergency Response Teams will be the first to respond, reinforced subsequently by the SPF’s Special Operations Command and the SAF’s Special Operations Task Force.

The largest counter-terrorism exercise held in Singapore to date, involving more than 3,200 personnel from the SPF, SCDF, ICA and SAF, the exercise also featured swift rescue operations conducted by SCDF emergency responders from the Special Rescue Unit (SRU), after the terror threats had been neutralised. ICA, too, conducted enhanced vehicular and person checks on all travellers at the land checkpoints, to detect and prevent other accomplices from escaping.

“Protecting Singapore requires us to work together, and today’s multi-agency islandwide counter-terrorism exercise has given our officers greater confidence in dealing with multiple terrorist attacks. The exercise had allowed us to become more familiar with each other’s operating procedures, instilling confidence from our ground troops to the command elements, and also with the community,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mr Lau Peet Meng.

SCDF's Special Rescue Unit attends to the casualties. (PHOTO: Nizam Neti)

CERT volunteers tend to the wounded along with SCDF paramedics. (PHOTO: Nizam Neti)

Also playing an active role in the exercise were more than 50 volunteers from the People’s Association (PA) Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and Civil Defence Lionhearters who had been trained to provide psychological and basic first aid.

“Being part of SGSecure as a volunteer helps me acquire more skills so I can help my neighbours if they are in need,” said Mdm Adelina Akil, 50, a housewife who has volunteered with CERT since 2011.

“Usually when we learn first aid, we learn it in a classroom scenario. This exercise equips us with the necessary knowledge on how to manage the casualties in a real-life situation,” said Mr Kevin Tan, 47, a Business Development Manager, who has been volunteering with CERT since 2007. “I hope more Singaporeans can join us in learning first aid and the necessary skills to deal with emergencies like a terror attack.”


Do you know what to do if a terrorist attack happens near you?

By working together, we can better protect ourselves from a terrorist attack, stay united and bounce back quickly in a crisis.

In the event of an attack, RUN and HIDE in a safe place where you can TELL or alert the authorities. You can SMS 71999 or use the SGSecure mobile app to send information and photographs to the Singapore Police Force. Learn the Singapore Civil Defence Force’s Improvise First Aid Skills (Press. Tie. Tell) and CPR now so you know what to do if you or someone near you is injured.

There’s so much you can do to protect yourself and others in the event of an emergency.

Pop over to the Revamped Emergency Preparedness Days happening in your constituencies in the upcoming months to learn from our trained officers and volunteers!

© 2019 Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore. All Rights Reserved.

  1. by Mabelle Yeo
  2. 19 October 2016
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