Better prepared

'Attacks' leave many on the edge of their seats

Ms Diana Lim, 69, gets a scare when an “armed terrorist” who went up into the stands during the counter-terrorism exercise gets “shot” by elite security forces. The use of gunshots and pyrotechnics was to give the audience a “more immersive
Ms Diana Lim, 69, gets a scare when an “armed terrorist” who went up into the stands during the counter-terrorism exercise gets “shot” by elite security forces. The use of gunshots and pyrotechnics was to give the audience a “more immersive experience”. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
The navy's elite Naval Diving Unit in action during the Dynamic Defence Display (D3) segment. The diving unit was part of the high-readiness Special Operations Task Force, which would be the first to respond if there is a terror attack. Ms Diana Lim,
The navy's elite Naval Diving Unit in action during the Dynamic Defence Display (D3) segment. The diving unit was part of the high-readiness Special Operations Task Force, which would be the first to respond if there is a terror attack.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

The sound of gunshots pierce the air and the crowd scatters as gunmen storm in. Moments later, the gunmen are swiftly subdued by the Army Deployment Force and elite commandos.

But multiple "terror threats" continue to appear islandwide, including a truck weaving through traffic in the Central Business District.

These were scenes that unfolded as part of a counter-terrorism exercise staged for the first time at the NDP yesterday, leaving many parade-goers on the edge of their seats and also having a deeper impression of the impact of terrorism.

The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and Home Team had joined forces to showcase Singapore's coordinated response to new security threats, even as they underscored the need to build trust and vigilance in the community. The 10-minute showcase was part of the parade's Dynamic Defence Display (D3) segment, which traditionally focused only on military might.

Said Lieutenant-Colonel Law Wei Shing, 36, who led the D3 segment: "If terror attacks were to hit our shores, we want to show that our security agencies are ready to counter them and bring normalcy back."

Members of the police's Emergency Response Teams and Rapid Deployment Troops brought the action to the audience in the stands. LTC Law said the use of gunshots, pyrotechnics and troopers in the seating gallery was to"give the audience a more immersive experience overall".

Said accountant James Chin, 62: "It was impressive. The speed at which they reacted and moved really showed that we are well-prepared ."


WELL-PREPARED

If terror attacks were to hit our shores, we want to show that our security agencies are ready to counter them and bring normalcy back.

LIEUTENANT-COLONEL LAW WEI SHING, who led the D3 segment.

As paramedics tended to "casualties" and recovery efforts kicked in, the segment wrapped up with a united show of support in the aftermath of the attacks. A video recording also showed citizens turning up at blood donation drives, while others stepped up as volunteers.

Said Mr Michael James Parks, 22, who played the role of a gunman in the segment: "Working together is the best thing we can do as a nation. We cannot let any acts of terror break us apart."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 10, 2017, with the headline ''Attacks' leave many on the edge of their seats'. Print Edition | Subscribe