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    Apr 08, 2016

    Soldiers to conduct patrols in public areas

    SOLDIERS will be far more visible in public areas as the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) steps up the country's fight against the terrorist threat.

    Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen announced that the SAF will train more units to carry out deterrence patrols in crowded areas.

    Currently, soldiers patrol only key installations such as Jurong Island and Changi Airport.

    This is to ensure that the military can deal with orchestrated attacks, such as those in Paris and Brussels, in hot spots such as the airport, MRT stations, shopping malls and town centres, said Dr Ng in Parliament yesterday.

    The new move is part of the SAF's redoubled efforts to counter terrorism, said Dr Ng, who unveiled to the House the battleplan to "respond decisively" to the threat.

    The SAF will build a "high density" mock city, complete with high-rise buildings and road networks, to conduct "highly realistic" counter-terrorism training, said Dr Ng.

    It will also boost the firepower of its special-forces troops, the first responders in counter-terrorism and other contingency operations.

    Dr Ng said the SAF will equip troops in the Special Operations Task Force with better tactical sensors like micro unmanned aerial vehicles, which are "small enough to fit in your palm and well suited for urban terrains".

    To bring to bear the "full strength" of Singapore's security capabilities, Dr Ng said the SAF will also work closely with the Home Team to share intelligence and develop joint operational command systems.

    Among the new war machines that will be added to its arsenal is a new Protected Combat Support Vehicle to ferry and better protect its support troops.