SINGAPORE - Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong visited Exercise Highcrest 2013 and observed the coordinated response by Government agencies under the National Maritime Security System (NMSS) to simulated terrorist threats from sea and on land.
The exercise was jointly led by the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Home Affairs. Held from October 29 to November 7, it involved over 1,600 personnel from 20 agencies including the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), the Singapore Police Force (SPF), the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA), Singapore Customs, and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA).
At the NMSS Command and Control Centre at Changi, PM Lee, DPM Teo and other Ministers observed various maritime and landbased agencies sharing information and coordinating operations against simulated terrorist attacks.
The scenarios included storming a simulated hijacked ferry and intercepting a small boat, acting against multiple gunmen on a shooting rampage and rescuing hostages on a passenger coach at Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal.
Speaking to the media after visiting the exercise, PM Lee highlighted the importance of a coordinated response at the national level in tackling terrorist threats.
He said: "This exercise is the culmination of several years of work to prepare our National Maritime Security System… so you just look at all the logos which are involved in today's exercise - so many ministries, so many stat boards, the uniformed forces - they have to work seamlessly together. Otherwise, there will be some miscommunications, some clash in the plans or in the execution and then we will be in trouble. … but from what I could see, I think they have prepared and trained well and I have every confidence that they will attain Full Operational Capability."
Also present to witness the exercise were Deputy Prime Minister, Coordinating Minister for National Security and Minister for Home Affairs Teo Chee Hean, Minister for Communications and Information and Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen, Minister for Transport Lui Tuck Yew and Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, Second Minister for Home Affairs and Trade & Industry S Iswaran as well as senior officials from the various ministries.