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NS in ProCom: Big Responsibilities, Even Bigger Leadership Roles
Preparing the pioneer batch of Protective Security Command troopers for duties beyond Full-time National Service.

To meet its operational goals, the Protective Security Command (ProCom) is committed to grooming its Full-time National Servicemen (NSF) to shoulder bigger leadership responsibilities, especially in planning and executing security operations. This specialist unit within the Singapore Police Force has evolved from the former Key Installations Command (KINS)  to undertake an even larger role in protective security.

Taking On the Challenges of Leadership
Among the NSFs who have assumed a bigger role is Sergeant (Sgt) Shafwatuddin (Shaf), 22. As a Column In-charge, he leads his fellow PNSF officers in day to day deployments and guides them in performing their duties well. 

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Sgt Shafwatuddin (right). PHOTO: Muhamad Khair

One of the challenges that Sgt Shaf faced was to command a team of Protective Security Unit (PSU) officers who are older than him. According to him, assuming command of the team was hard because his team members are also his batch mates, and they had previously seen him as more of a friend.

“It’s challenging when you have colleagues who are older than you, have different characters and come from different backgrounds,” said Sgt Shaf, who takes a people-centric approach to leadership. “But after you establish your role and draw the lines, they’ll listen to you.”

It doesn’t matter what rank or role one is holding; Sgt Shaf maintains that leadership remains an essential quality in a ProCom Trooper. “We all play an important part when it comes to securing a location or building – if one person doesn’t do it properly, it wouldn’t be secure,” he said. “Leadership and teamwork are very important; you cannot work alone.”

A Three-Week Transition Course
Three weeks before they reach their Operationally Ready Date, NSFs like Sgt Shaf from the PSU are given the opportunity to take over the leadership reins from their regular officers. 

During this period, they assume duties such as planning the manpower and resources needed for deployments, as well as going on patrol without a regular officer at critical installations. This is after more than a year of active deployments in protecting strategic locations and covering event security.

“Previously, we’d only assist the regulars,” said NS Inspector (NSI) Muhammad Iswara, 22, Deputy Officer-In-charge (Troop). “It’s very different now because we have to plan everything from structuring the teams to carrying out operations.”
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NSI Iswara Mazzara (second from right) and his team on a foot patrol in the Tuas area. PSU officers are the only NSFs who are armed with submachine guns such as the HKMP5 and the M4-A1. PHOTO: Muhamad Khair

Preparing for the Next Phase of Service
According to Officer-in-Charge (Unit) Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Mohamad Mulyadi Bin Sapari, letting PSU troopers head their own deployments allows them to hone their leadership skills and prepares them to become Operationally Ready National Servicemen (ORNSmen).

“This batch of NSFs are the pioneers of this new programme. They’re better off because they’ve learnt to stand on their own two feet,” said the 49-year-old, who has seen many batches of NSFs graduate under his wing. “The transition programme has helped them learn how to stand together when commanding, and make better decisions on the ground.” 
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The end of the course culminated in an ORD ceremony, during which each trooper was presented with a drill cane and a plaque, as a sign of appreciation for their contributions during NS. PHOTO: Muhamad Khair

The troopers from PSU A1 will also be serving their 10-year ORNS cycle together, unlike KINs officers in the past who were pooled together from different batches and teams.

Reflecting on his journey with his PSU troopers, Sgt Shaf said, "There's a strong bond within our unit. We've accomplished so much together, through all the tough training sessions, security deployments and ultimately pushing each other to be the best."

"Knowing that I'll go through my ORNS duties with them is a great feeling, and I'll treasure every moment that I have with them."
 

  1. by Muhamad Khair
  2. 10 July 2018
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