Special Forces can cooperate to tackle threats: S'pore army chief

Singapore's chief of army, Major-General Perry Lim, delivering the opening address at the Special Forces Commanders’ Conference 2014 on Wednesday. -- PHOTO: MINDEF
Singapore's chief of army, Major-General Perry Lim, delivering the opening address at the Special Forces Commanders’ Conference 2014 on Wednesday. -- PHOTO: MINDEF

SINGAPORE - The world's crack units should work together to better fight security threats that have gone beyond borders, said Singapore's chief of army, Major-General (MG) Perry Lim.

Citing terrorist threats that have become transnational, MG Lim said focusing on one operational or geographical area at the expense of another is untenable.

"Only through mutual sharing and learning can we have more complete and effective solutions," MG Lim told 400 delegates at the Special Forces Commanders' Conference on Wednesday.

Being in a small and nimble unit, Special Forces soldiers are not just the sharp end of the spear when dealing with hostile threats, but also "a human face on the ground in peaceful engagement", said MG Lim.

"This characteristic is ever more important in modern times when irregular warfare has become the norm...in the way you operate, the human dimension is most important, underscored by teamwork."

MG Lim held up Singapore's Special Operations Task Force, which brings its commandos, naval divers and pilots under one command, as a good example of how different branches of services within the military can integrate their operations, training and development.

Another benefit: Special Forces soldiers, compared to the other branches of services, can adapt quickly and are working with people they are more familiar with. "This is going to be a great advantage because more than ever, we need multilateral Special Forces cooperation in information sharing, counter-terrorism responses, and shared Special Forces operating procedures in order to stay ahead of the threats we face," said MG Lim.