01 August 2017
Servicemen from army combat and combat support units have to undergo training in homeland security operations at the new Island Defence Training Institute (IDTI), save for those already involved in this area, said the Ministry of Defence on Monday (July 31).
On the need to train soldiers, Associate Professor Kumar Ramakrishna from the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) said that it is not unusual for countries to rope in their militaries for counterterrorism operations. Assoc Prof Kumar, who is coordinator of RSIS’ national security studies programme, added: “This new initiative … demonstrates to me that it’s being taken very seriously — the need for counter-terrorism to be seen as part of the repertoire of SAF servicemen, not just in conventional warfare but unconventional war.”
Dr Graham Ong-Webb, an RSIS research fellow, said that he would not be surprised if Singapore was one of the few countries globally to have made such a move. Besides standardising training for soldiers, this initiative would also help mobilise the army unit closest to an attack.
“It’s down to minutes in terms of preventing further death and destruction…If we train everybody, basically we’ve cast the net far and wide across Singapore,” Dr Ong-Webb added.
GPO / IDSS / NSSP / Online / Print
Last updated on 01/08/2017