In light of the heightened threat of terrorism, the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) is strengthening its capabilities to work with the Home Team in homeland security operations. In July 2016, the SAF stood up the Army Deployment Force as a high readiness battalion to augment the existing Special Operations Task Force and Island Defence Task Force in responding to national security contingencies. Since July 2016, the Singapore Army's active combat and combat support units have undergone training to conduct homeland security operations. From July 2017, the SAF will expand the roles of its Operationally Ready National Servicemen (NSmen) to include homeland security operational duties, working alongside Regulars and active servicemen to support the Home Team.

Activation of NS Units for Homeland Security Operations. Selected Army NS units will take on homeland security operations during their In-Camp Training (ICT), on top of existing operational duties, in the event that national security contingencies occur. NSmen activated for homeland security operations could be deployed for: (i) joint deterrence patrols with the Singapore Police Force island-wide; (ii) coastal surveillance operations; (iii) protection of key installations; (iv) cordon and search operations; and (v) public order operations[1].

Training. From July 2017, the Island Defence Training Institute (IDTI) will train approximately 18,000 soldiers from active and NS units yearly in homeland security operations. The training will focus on further developing individual skill sets acquired from the SAF's current urban operations training, and adapting them to homeland security operations. The training will cover: (i) scenario-based simulation and live-firing for homeland security operations; (ii) search and arrest procedures to be undertaken by SAF personnel; (iii) knowledge of legal powers and rights of private defence; and (iv) retractable truncheon drills. NS units will undergo refresher training during their ICT so that their skills are kept current and they can be readily deployed for operations.

To ensure that training is realistic and effective, the IDTI will leverage training technology such as Judgmental Video Simulation Training at the Infantry Gunnery and Tactical Simulator, which has been updated to include multiple homeland security operations scenarios. Conducted in 50m ranges, this training puts soldiers through simulated homeland security operations scenarios, and exercises their ability to decide to shoot or not depending on whether the target is friend or foe. This increases operational readiness by allowing soldiers to exercise their thinking and decision-making processes in a highly immersive environment, and better prepares them to manage complex homeland security operations.

Source: MINISTRY OF DEFENCE (MINDEF)