Military Capabilities

Singapore to set up new command centre to boost counter-terrorism capabilities

02 July 2019

SAF troops breaching a building during an urban operations training exercise. Singapore has announced new measures to boost military response to terror attacks. Source: IHS Markit/Kelvin Wong

Key Points

  • The Singapore Armed Forces is setting up a new command centre to improve its ability to respond to terror and homeland security threats
  • The Special Operations Command Centre will be commissioned by the end of 2019

The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) will set up a new Special Operations Command Centre (SOCC) as part of a wide-ranging effort to enhance its ability to conduct counter-terrorism operations, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen announced during a media briefing on 28 June.

According to the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF), the SOCC will function as a hub for planning, monitoring, and managing military responses to concurrent terrorist and homeland contingencies. The centre will be situated in the eastern Hendon Camp and is expected to be commissioned by the end of the year. It will also work closely with other agencies when required.

The centre will be equipped with organic command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence (C4I) systems to support operational planning, co-ordination, and to sense-make acquired data.

MINDEF also stated that the SAF will exploit emerging technologies, including robotics, unmanned systems, artificial intelligence (AI), and data analytics to boost counter-terrorism operations.

"We have to be prepared for the shift of the centre of gravity of terror attacks from [the] Middle East to this region," Ng said. "And we have good reasons why all our intelligence agencies come to the same assessment."

"The centre of gravity, even as it moves away from Iraq and Syria, will shift to other places and we are one of the hotspots," he added. "Returning fighters will be one, but also foreign fighters because of the networks that are formed in Iraq and Syria, [which] will carry over to our theatre of operations."

Ng also officiated at the ground-breaking ceremony of SAFTI City: a 10-year, SGD900 million (USD664 million) programme to develop a dedicated, next-generation facility to support urban mission training, including counter-terrorism, homeland security, and disaster relief.

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