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  • I-Witness
Published 04 May 2023
3-min Read

When it comes to handling high-risk situations, few are better equipped to do so than our STAR-operators. Find out more about the SPF's dedicated and highly trained STAR Unit!

By: Christabelle Lim

Police Life 052023 The Polices STAR Unit 00
PHOTOS: SPF and Ashwini Jayasankar

The Special Tactics and Rescue (STAR) Unit is one of the three main units of the Special Operations Command (SOC), in addition to the Police Tactical Unit and the K-9 Unit. The STAR Unit was formed on 9 November 1993, amidst the backdrop of evolving threats in law enforcement. Today, the STAR Unit continues to provide the highest level of tactical armed response for the Singapore Police Force (SPF).

STAR operators are trained to handle a suite of weapons and equipment to support the Unit’s counter-terrorism mission and manage public security incidents swiftly and effectively.

The STAR Unit also continues to leverage on science and technology, such as through the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and robots, to conduct high-risk operations.

STAR operators gave us a glimpse of their tactical training and specialised skillsets in this tactical demonstration!

Police Life 052023 The Polices STAR Unit 01
A lone UAV flies ahead to scout for the location of the lone gunman. Immediately after identifying his location, the Tactical K-9 is released by its handler and follows the UAV to the gunman’s location to take him down. VIDEOS: SPF

One of the ways that the STAR Unit leverages technology is by using Tactical UAVs to direct their Tactical K-9s to threats that lie beyond the line-of-sight. This allows our officers to pinpoint the adversary’s exact location and take him down swiftly.

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Boom! STAR operators showcased their building entry capabilities with well-coordinated explosive charges at multiple breaching points.

STAR operators maintain a high level of operational readiness and proficiency through a gamut of training exercises. The speed at which the hostage rescue demonstration unfolded took us all by surprise. In a matter of seconds, all the STAR operators had entered the building. There was a cacophony of noise from their use of stun grenades within the building.

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A locked gate and wooden door, which simulates a typical HDB unit, was swiftly breached by the STAR operators. A stun grenade was lobbed through the door to gain an element of surprise before the STAR operators enter.

Keen to be a part of this elite team? Aspiring candidates undergo a gruelling selection and training process before they can join the STAR Unit. After passing out, they’ll sharpen their capabilities through advanced training in highly specialised skillsets to be equipped for the role of Assaulter, Sniper, Assault Diver or Tactical K-9 Handler.

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Unfazed by the loud gunfire, Tactical K-9s are trained to work alongside STAR operators in dynamic environments.

STAR officers are drawn from the ranks of the SPF. But in May 2023, after 3 years, STAR Direct Recruitment is again open to members of the public. Think you have what it takes to be part of STAR? Find out more at this link!

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