City State secures the D.P.R.K.-U.S. Summit.
However, Singapore overcame these challenges and successfully completed the mission of securing the summit against possible threats. This was achieved through strong interagency links between the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and the Home Team, as well as through the professionalism and dedication of the country's national servicemen.
For the Summit, the SAF was called upon to secure the airspace and surrounding waters against external threats. It mounted a joint operation, which involved several task forces to provide a protective dome with many layers around Sentosa while the summit was going on.
Air, water defense
IN the air, the Republic of Singapore Air Force's (RSAF) G550 aircraft was airborne to provide early warning of incoming threats, while fighter jets, such as F-15s and F-16s, patrolled the skies.
The RSAF's ground-based air defense weapons-such as the I-HAWK (or Improved Homing All the Way Killer) surface-to-air missile system, SPYDER (or Surface-to-Air Python-5 and Derby), as well as the RBS70 (Robotsystem 70)-watched the skies from the ground.
At sea, the Maritime Security Task Force worked with Whole-of-Government agencies, including the Police Coast Guard, Maritime Port Authority of Singapore, Singapore Civil Defence Force and Immigration and Checkpoints Authority of Singapore to ensure maritime security within the special event area and the Singapore Strait.
The Republic of Singapore Navy's (RSN) Littoral Mission Vessels, Missile Corvette, Patrol Vessel and Landing Ship Tank formed the outer defense layer to the waters off Capella Hotel, where the meeting was held, and conducted close escort of ships transiting the area.
These maritime operations were supported by the RSAF's AH-64D Attack Helicopters, while the Heron 1 Unmanned Aerial Vehicles provided the ships with an added source of ship surveillance. Super Puma helicopters were also on standby to support any evacuation operations from Sentosa.
ON land, the Island Defense Task Force closely supported the police in security operations. The chemical, biological, radiological and explosive defense teams, the special operations task force and medical response forces were on high alert. Live munitions were loaded around Singapore in anticipation of real threats.
On the flanks, intelligence agencies also went on high alert and collaborated with other counterparts to detect potential plots. SAF forces were also responsible for operations at Paya Lebar Air Base, which was used by the US President's Air Force One aircraft and his entourage.
In total, nearly 2,000 SAF soldiers, sailors and airmen were involved in the immense task of securing the summit, and were largely unseen by the public as they went about their duties. This included both regulars and national servicemen, who stepped in at very short notice to support ground operations. The servicemen only stood down after Kim physically left Singaporean airspace on June 12 near midnight.
Without the close coordination between the SAF and the Home Team, and the commitment of its servicemen, Singapore could not have mounted such a comprehensive defense, which enabled a successful summit.
Singaporeans can take heart that the SAF is always ready to defend their nation.
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|Publication:||Business Mirror (Makati City, Philippines)|
|Date:||Aug 8, 2018|
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