07 November 2015
Assets from the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN), Police Coast Guard (PCG), Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), and Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) working together to deal with a hijacked merchant vessel at the sea deployment exercise. (all photos : Sing Mindef)
The ability of the Singapore Maritime Crisis Centre (SMCC) to plan and manage whole-of-government Maritime Security (MARSEC) sense-making and operational responses, including dealing with simultaneous maritime security threats, was tested at Exercise Highcrest 2015. Held from 2 to 6 November 2015, the exercise involves about 900 personnel from 15 agencies, which includes the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), the Singapore Police Force (SPF), the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA), Singapore Customs (SC), and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA).
As part of the exercise on 5 November 2015, Permanent Secretaries from the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) Mr Chan Yeng Kit and Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) Mr Leo Yip witnessed how the national MARSEC agencies coordinated a whole-of-government response to simultaneous maritime security threats. They observed the Republic of Singapore Navy's (RSN) experimental Unmanned Surface Vessel and the Police Coast Guard’s (PCG) new 2nd Generation PK-Class High Speed Interceptor successfully stopping an attack by a small terrorist boat.
Mr Chan and Mr Yip also saw how the RSN’s Patrol Vessel and PCG's Coastal Patrol Craft as well as the newly commissioned Patrol Interdiction Boat intercepted a hijacked merchant vessel, while the SAF’s Special Operations Task Force stormed the vessel from Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats and a Super Puma helicopter to capture the hijackers. The MPA also activated its emergency response craft to contain an oil spillage, and the SCDF's Marine Fire-fighting Vessel to put out a fire on the merchant vessel.
Also present were Chief of Navy Rear-Admiral Lai Chung Han as well as representatives of the Homefront Crisis Executive Group (MARSEC).