Special Operations Command (Singapore)

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Special Operations Command
Pasukan Operasi Khas
特别行动指挥处
Active 10 September 1992 - Present
Country Singapore Singapore
Branch Singapore Police Force
Type Special forces
Role Counter-terrorism
Law enforcement
Size Classified
Nickname(s) SOC (English)
POK (Malay)
Motto(s) A Centre of Tactical Excellence (Vision)
To uphold the law, maintain order and keep the peace in the Republic of Singapore
Commanders
Current
commander
Assistant Commissioner David Scott Arul (Commander)
Superintendent Chua Chee Wai (Deputy Commander)

The Special Operations Command (SOC) (Malay: Pasukan Operasi Khas; Chinese: 特别行动指挥处) is a front line department of the Singapore Police Force (SPF). It was formed on September 10th, 1992, to unify specialist units into a single strategic reserve force that the regular officers need to call upon in any contingency plan and serious case of public disorder.

The current Commander of the SOC is AC David Scott Arul and the Deputy Commander is SUPT Chua Chee Wai.

Structure and units[edit]

There are multiple regular and full-time national service specialist units under the Police's elite Special Operations Command. The following units are as follows:

Unit Abbreviation Commanding Officer Address
Anti-Swarming Team AST Unknown Unknown
Crisis Negotiation Unit CNU DSP Syed Sagoff Queensway Base
Police K-9 Unit K-9 DSP KOH Lye Meng 2 Mowbray Road
Police National Service Full-time Light Strike Force PNSF LSF Unknown Queensway Base
Police National Service Key Installation Protection Unit KINS SUPT Francis TAN Ulu Pandan Base
Police National Service Public Order Troops POT DSP Jarrod Nair Queensway Base
Police Tactical Unit PTU Unknown Queensway Base
Rapid Deployment Troops RDT Unknown Queensway Base
Special Operations Training Command SOTC SUPT Aw Yong Leon Gay Queensway Base
Special Tactics and Rescue STAR SUPT Desmond CHUA Boon Teck Queensway Base
Special Women Task Team SWTT Unknown Unknown

History[edit]

The SOC traces its history back to 1952, when an anti-riot squad of 60 police officers was formed in the wake of the Maria Hertogh riots, which broke out in 1950 and demonstrated the incapability of existing measures in containing serious cases of public disorder. The Police Task Force, predecessor of what is now the Police Tactical Unit was hence created.

On 10 September 1992, the SOC was formally created to combine the Police Task Force, the Police Tactical Team, and the Police Dog Unit under one command. In 1993, the Special Tactics and Rescue was formed to replace the Police Tactical Team. Greater involvement of Police National Servicemen was seen with the inclusion of the National Servicemen Key Installation Unit in 1994, and the formation of the Police National Service Full-time Light Strike Force in 1998.

In response to changing demands in urban security issues, the Police MRT Unit was formed in 2005 to provide armed security within and around stations and trains on the Mass Rapid Transit network. Pooled from regular and NSF manpower resources, they are the first SOC unit to be formed which involves regular front-line policing from inception. From 15 August 2009, the unit was renamed as the Public Transport Security Command and became an independent unit, separating from the SOC.

In the Police Workplan Seminar 2018, the SOC will have new Police National Service unit called the Public Order Troops designed to maintain law and order and can be called upon in major events like riots, national emergencies and public order incidents, as well as possible terrorist attacks. On the other hand, the POT will be implemented by 2023.

The SOC also coordinates Singapore Police Force personnel for missions under command of the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations.

Incidents[edit]

  • In the early morning of 25 April 1978, Constable Lee Kim Lai was abducted while he was performing sentry duties at the Police Reserve Unit (PRU) 1 base at Mount Vernon, and found stabbed to death in a taxi later.[1]
  • On 17 May 1978, SGT Toh Say Tin from the PRU 1 was on special duties when he slipped and fell overboard while attempting to board a boat from marine police speedboat PA 6 off Marine Parade. A non-swimmer, he was not wearing a life vest, and was swept away by the currents.[2] His body was found on 19 May 1978 about eight kilometres from the incident.[3]

Weapons, equipment and vehicles[edit]

A red tactical vehicle used by the Special Operations Command

SOC troopers are typically armed with the MP5K, MP5N sub-machine guns and FN SCAR assault rifle. New weapons introduced from 2004 include the H&K 69, a grenade launcher which will replace the existing ARWEN 37. Their handguns will be replaced by the new H&K USP Compact, while the Sphinx 3000 will also be introduced.

As for Rapid Deployment Troops, they utilized new black motorcycles with red and blue police lights and mounted round-shaped shields designed to navigate through the heavy traffic for fast tactical response to such public order incidents.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ True Files Season 1 Episode 8 "The Sentry" (Television Series). Singapore: MediaCorp TV. 2002.
  2. ^ "Feared dead: Officer who fell into sea". The Straits Times. 18 May 1978.
  3. ^ "Body of sgt found". The Straits Times. 20 May 1978.
  4. ^ https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/how-elite-special-operations-command-train-to-deal-with-threats-9448826

External links[edit]