Factsheet: Island Defence Training Institute
After the September 11 terrorist attacks, the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Island Defence Task Force (IDTF) was established to enhance national security. Under this task force, SAF servicemen work closely with the Home Team agencies such as the Singapore Police Force (SPF) and Immigration and Checkpoints Authority to protect key installations. These include Changi Airport, Jurong Island and Sembawang Wharves. The increasing trend of terrorist attacks globally and regionally provided the impetus for the SAF to strengthen our competencies to deal with the impending threats.
Over the years, the SAF has enhanced its capabilities towards homeland security and counter-terrorism, working closely with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). The SAF is committed to a wider range of homeland security and counter-terrorism operations.
CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE (COE) FOR ISLAND DEFENCE TRAINING
As the CoE for Island Defence training, the Island Defence Training Institute (IDTI) will address all Island Defence training requirements, deepen operational knowledge, improve linkages and interoperability with the Home Team agencies and enhance the effectiveness of training delivered to our Active and National Service (NS) units. Centralising Island Defence training under IDTI allows better governance and synergy through the consolidation of training and resources. With the vision to be a premier training institute for Island Defence, IDTI aims to equip our soldiers with the necessary competencies to respond to the security threats during their operational deployment alongside our Home Team counterparts. The institute will comprise two training centres and two schools. With the establishment of IDTI, more SAF servicemen will be trained, and Active and NS units may be tasked to undertake homeland security operations in varying capacities.
a. Homeland Security Training Centre (HSTC). HSTC will train Active and NS units assigned to execute Homeland Security Operations. It will also conduct pre- deployment training for Auxiliary Security Troopers from the SAF Volunteer Corps (SAFVC).
b. Island Defence Training Centre (IDTC). IDTC will train and evaluate all NS Island Defence battalions and NS Military Police (MP) companies over the 10-year in-camp training (ICT) cycle. It will also train and prepare Full-time National Servicemen (NSFs) for transition to Operationally Ready National Service in their Island Defence battalions. IDTC will train and prepare soldiers for operations in Sector Defence and Protection of Key Installations, and train the NS MPs to perform security and policing operations.
c. Security and Policing Leadership School (SPLS). Every quarter, SPLS will train Military Police Specialist Cadets over a 13-week course to be competent in executing policing and security operations. The training will include Military Police Close Combat Training as well as weapon retention drills. SPLS will also train MPs to perform peacetime and wartime policing and security operations including (1) management of detainees in Detention Barracks, (2) deployment of Military Working Dogs and (3) investigation skills. Being a leadership school, their syllabus will also inculcate SAF Leadership values, empowering them to lead their teams effectively.
d. Security and Policing Vocational School (SPVS). SPVS will focus on individual-type competency training for various units such as (1) operating at access control points for Security Troopers; (2) surveillance and patrol teams for SAFVC volunteers; (3) policing and security operations for the MP; and (4) operations of the Peacekeeper Protected Response Vehicle (PRV). It will also anchor new skill sets required in the expanded operational requirement for Homeland Security Operations such as the use of non-lethal and less-lethal weapons.
From July 2017, IDTI will train approximately 18,000 soldiers from Active and NS units yearly to execute joint Homeland Security Operations, when needed.
HOMELAND SECURITY TRAINING CENTRE (HSTC)
The HSTC trains Active and NS units to execute Homeland Security Operations. The training is conducted over seven days, separated in two tiers. Tier 1 is conducted in two days and trains troopers on (1) legal frameworks; (2) search and arrest techniques; (3) the use of less-lethal weapons such as the retractable truncheon; and (4) gradual response skills to de-escalate and neutralise hostile situations for operations such as Joint Deterrence Patrol and Coastal Surveillance. Tier 2 is conducted over five days and focuses on training troopers to be able to conduct (1) protection of designated critical structures; and (2) cordon and search operations. The training syllabus incorporates different training scenarios to allow the participants to exercise their judgment and skill sets.
Judgmental Video Simulation Training
To better equip our soldiers with the necessary skill sets to conduct a joint patrol with our MHA counterparts, soldiers will go through judgmental video simulation training to hone their thinking processes and application of Rules of Engagement (ROE). In addition, the simulation will also be able to accurately present challenges which our soldiers may experience when deployed in a public setting.
The judgmental training comprises three scenarios. Each scenario can be configured to present different outcomes of the hostile situation. The trainer has the flexibility to determine the outcomes so as to enable a more meaningful training experience for our soldiers:
a. Active Shooter. Comprising two parts, the scenario begins with the joint SAF-SPF patrol in the vicinity of a shopping mall. Following gun shots and loud explosions, the patrol responds to a potentially hostile situation within the mall. Applying the necessary ROE, the patrol moves into the mall to search for the perpetrators. They will apply the appropriate force to neutralise an active shooter. Subsequently, the patrol will face off with a hostage taker. The patrol will try to de-escalate the threat through a chain of verbal commands. The scenario can effectively allow our soldiers to experience the challenges of executing their responsibilities in a crowded public area.
b. Vehicle Checkpoint. Manning access control points are part and parcel of security operations. The scenario will see our soldiers being deployed alongside a police officer and providing the necessary reinforcements while the vehicle is being checked. Similarly, the trainer has the flexibility to configure the outcome of the scenario: (1) driver and passenger shooting the police officer; or (2) driver and passenger complying with the instructions of the police officer.
c. Coastal Patrol. Designed for our soldiers to respond to potential coastal breaches, the scenario will see our soldiers spotting a pair of perpetrators walking inland from the beach. Similar to the other scenarios, the outcomes can be configured for a more meaningful training experience.
Source: MINISTRY OF DEFENCE (MINDEF)