betty August 3, 2021

SINGAPORE – The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) conducted a high-precision counter-terrorism drill in Marina Bay on Monday (Aug 2).

On Monday night, two Republic of Singapore Air Force Super Puma helicopters airlifted troops from the Special Operations Task Force (SOTF) to an outdoor porch area of the F1 Pit Building.

After they moved into the building, the soldiers responded to a simulated hostage situation and neutralised threats.

This exercise scenario was designed to strengthen the SAF’s response to terrorism and related incidents, said the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) in a statement.

The realistic training setting tested the SAF’s operational readiness and the exercise was conducted with high precision, the ministry added.

The exercise, expected to end on Tuesday morning, was led by the SOTF, with personnel from the Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Explosives Defence Group and the Medical Response Force, said Mindef.

It was the first time that an SAF counter-terrorism exercise was held at the F1 Pit Building. The building hosts the yearly Formula 1 night race but can be used for other purposes during non-race periods.

The area around the three-storey building was cordoned off on Monday and members of the public were advised to stay away for the duration of the exercise.

The SOTF was set up in 2009, bringing together elite units within the SAF under one command to tackle terrorist threats.

It combines different units, such as the commandos and special operations forces from the Singapore Army, the Naval Diving Unit, and assets from the army, navy and air force.

It coordinates with the Singapore Police Force during homeland security operations.

“The SAF stands ready to deal with a spectrum of threats to defend Singapore and our way of life, even amidst the Covid-19 situation,” Mindef said.

The SAF continues to train and conduct exercises regularly to ensure that it remains operationally ready to safeguard the country, the ministry added.

Super Puma helicopters airlift troops from the Special Operations Task Force to the F1 Pit Building

“Counter-terrorism exercises in urban settings allow the SAF to train effectively and realistically to strengthen its capabilities in homeland security operations.”

Meanwhile, the police said on Monday that the ceremonial parade to be held at the Marina Bay floating platform on Aug 9 has been declared an “enhanced security special event” under the Public Order Act.

Security restrictions will be applied to an area around the event from midnight to noon that day, said the police. Some items such as arms and explosives cannot be brought into the area. Drones are also not allowed to be flown into the area without a valid permit.