SINGAPORE - In the sea of red on National Day, there will be a wave of blue sweeping through Marina Bay and its surrounding areas.
The Singapore Police Force will form part of the 5,600 personnel in the security operations for this year's celebrations on Aug 9.
Officers will be deployed from various units, such as the Traffic Police, Police Coast Guard, Gurkha Contingent and Special Operations Command's K9 unit.
The In-Situ Response Teams (IRTs), with their distinctive beige berets, will make their National Day Parade debut this year.
Deputy superintendent (DSP) Ong Ruo Cheng said: "This is the first time the In-situ Reaction Team from the Protective Security Command is deployed for the National Day Parade. They will be deployed at shopping malls in and around the Marina Bay area, and will perform high-visibility patrol to deter any terrorist attack."
The IRTs are made up mainly of full-time national servicemen who are specially selected, trained and appropriately armed to deal with any public security incidents, she added.
Formed in December last year, IRTs have been deployed in popular areas in Singapore, such as Orchard Road and Marina Bay, to enhance security during the festive period, and this is their first involvement in the nation's birthday bash.
They patrol high footfall areas, and are likely to be the first responders in the event of an attack, since they are already situated in pre-determined areas.
Every IRT officer has to undergo a three-week training programme, and carries 17kg of gear, including a bullet-resistant helmet and a vest.
Each team is armed with HK-MP5 sub-machine guns and Taurus M85 pistols, and have specific skills, such as dealing with hostage situations and heavy-vehicle attacks.
For the NDP, Inspector Tan Kim Chuan who is officer commanding of the IRT unit, said that although their tasks are the same, they will have to communicate actively with the other agencies, to coordinate their plans during the operations.
Meanwhile, Police Coast Guard vessels will be in the waters around Marina Bay.
Three boats, involving 10 officers, will patrol the waters, equipped with blinkers and sirens to project their presence, and night vision equipment so they can still see after the sun has set.