A post-blast investigations (PBI) training exercise codenamed “Exercise Solar Wind V” was held in Brunei from 6 November to 9 November 2022. The exercise was jointly conducted by the Singapore Police Force (SPF) and the Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF), supported by HTX (Home Team Science and Technology Agency).
PBI is an important operational capability for the SPF, especially with the existing threat of terrorism. The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) oversees PBI in the SPF. Their responsibilities include scene processing, documentation, and evidence collection to aid investigations. For instance, the forensic examination of improvised explosive devices (IED) fragments at the scene can provide useful investigative leads to the IOs on the structure of the IED. Such information is crucial in identifying the perpetrators, to mitigate further harm by them and for subsequent prosecution of the perpetrators.
To ensure that SPF remains operationally ready and competent to deal with bomb-blast incidents, CID works closely with local and foreign stakeholders to improve our PBI capabilities. This includes the conduct of PBI training exercises for officers such as the biennial overseas Exercise Solar Wind and the conduct of the Post-blast Investigation Basic Course to train officers on the various aspects of PBI.
During this fifth edition of Exercise Solar Wind, investigation officers (IOs) from SPF and crime scene forensics specialists from HTX worked closely to manage and investigate multiple bomb blast scenes involving IEDs. Officers honed their PBI competency through a series of simulated detonation of IEDs in multiple scenarios based on known terrorist modus operandi to achieve realistic training outcomes.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Investigation & Intelligence), Mr How Kwang Hwee said, “It is crucial to hone our PBI capabilities so that Police can quickly identify the perpetrators and stop them from committing further acts of terror against innocent victims. Exercise Solar Wind is an important platform that provides a realistic training environment for officers from the Singapore Police Force and the Royal Brunei Police Force to jointly undergo post-blast investigation training. We will continue to work with our strategic partners to enhance our PBI capabilities.”
Photo 1: Deputy Commissioner of Police (Investigation & Intelligence), Mr How Kwang Hwee, Deputy Chief Executive (Development) of HTX, Mr Ng Yeow Boon, and representatives of the Royal Brunei Police Force observing exercise participants at a bomb blast site
Photo 2: OC Bomb Technical and Investigation Team, Forensics Centre of Expertise, HTX, Mr Sito Wai Yip briefing Deputy Commissioner of Police (Investigation & Intelligence), Mr How Kwang Hwee, Deputy Chief Executive (Development) of HTX, Mr Ng Yeow Boon, and representatives of the Royal Brunei Police Force
Photo 3: Exercise participants conducting PBI
Photo 4: Exercise participants conducting PBI
Photo 5: SPF Investigation Officer instructing exercise participants from RBPF on PBI procedures
Photo 6: Post-blast scene of bus after detonation of vehicle-borne IED
Photo 7: Post-blast scene of car after detonation of vehicle-borne IED
Photo 8: Post-blast scene of bus (left), car (top-right), and bicycle (bottom right) after detonation of IEDs
Further Information on Exercise Solar Wind V
Since its inception in 2014, there have been four Solar Wind exercises conducted - in 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2019. The fifth edition of Solar Wind, codenamed “Exercise Solar Wind V”, was held in Brunei from 6 November to 9 November 2022.
There were two related scenarios for this exercise, involving five explosions in total to simulate vehicle-borne IEDs, homemade bicycle IED, and suicide bombing:
The first scenario simulated a prize-giving ceremony of a triathlon and a related charity event. Event organisers, participants, and members of the public were gathered at the venue, in the vicinity of the prize car, a charity bus loaded with donations, and a bicycle. IEDs containing explosive materials were used respectively to simulate a series of bomb attacks.
i. The prize car exploded as the triathlon champion approached it;
ii. Seconds later, the charity bus exploded;
iii. A minute later, the parked bicycle exploded.
- The second scenario is set upon a nearby fair related to the triathlon. Members of the public were also gathered in the vicinity of an unattended bag and a person dressed in a padded vest. IEDs containing explosive materials were used respectively to simulate the bomb attack and a suicide bomber.
i. Fifteen minutes after the last explosion of the first scenario, there were two more explosions at the fair.
Exercise participants from SPF and RBPF worked together to conduct PBI at the live post-blast sites to determine how the explosions had occurred and examine the scene for leads to identify the perpetrators.
Through Exercise Solar Wind V, officers continue to sharpen their post-blast investigation skills and hone their working relationship with their foreign counterparts. The joint training exercise is also an important platform for SPF to reinforce our strong training ties and relationship with the RBPF.
SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE
04 December 2022 @ 4:00 PM