Special Operations role for NSmen

Sergeant 1 Muhammad Khairul Shafeeq Abdul Karim, 20, and Sergeant 1 Wilson Ng, 21, will soon be part of the Police National Servicemen Public Order Troop, a new initiative to beef up manpower resources.
Sergeant 1 Muhammad Khairul Shafeeq Abdul Karim, 20, and Sergeant 1 Wilson Ng, 21, will soon be part of the Police National Servicemen Public Order Troop, a new initiative to beef up manpower resources. PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

Until recently, police full-time national serviceman Wilson Ng, 21, would not have been able to continue with the Special Operations Command (SOC) after reaching his operationally ready date (ORD).

But he can now, as part of the Police National Servicemen (PNSmen) Public Order (PO) Troop, a new initiative to beef up manpower resources amid heightened security concerns. Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam had first announced the initiative at the police's annual workplan seminar on April 7.

After reaching their ORD, NSmen like Sergeant 1 Ng will continue with the troop, slated to be formed by September next year.

Sergeant 1 Ng underwent a specialisation course with the SOC after passing out of basic training at Home Team Academy to prepare him for this role. The PNSmen PO Troop will come under the Police Tactical Unit (PTU) in SOC.

The troopers yesterday demonstrated their skills at the Home Team Tactical Centre in Mandai Road. Emerging from their iconic red trucks and suited up in full riot gear and fire-retardant suits, they demonstrated their capabilities in a variety of public order situations, including fire manoeuvre and tactical arms handling.

In two-man teams holding their body-length shields at the ready, the troopers held their ground as instructors tested their skill and reserve by throwing makeshift petrol bombs and Molotov cocktails at them.

The NSF troopers are equipped with the same gear and arms as their regular counterparts, and have been deployed alongside them at public security events, such as the Thaipusam Festival and the Chingay Parade.

After their ORD, NSmen like Sergeant 1 Ng will be recalled to the PNSmen PO Troop, one of a series of troops within the PTU, each consisting of about 40 troopers. They will be recalled as back-up to fast response units or for security at planned, large-scale events.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 27, 2017, with the headline 'Special Operations role for NSmen'. Print Edition | Subscribe