05 September 2018

Diary of a SecCom Officer

By Mark Tan, Assistant Operations Officer, Security Command

When the President of the United States Donald Trump announced on 10 May that Singapore would be the venue for 12 June meeting between himself and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Leader Kim Jong Un, the Security Command (SecCom) immediately sprang into action to prepare for the summit. 

As essential details such as their proposed venues and programmes were limited or had not been decided, our SecCom planning team pressed on and worked around these issues to come up with a viable plan. It was in reality a skeletal plan that would take into account the necessary manpower and logistical preparations for the event.


There were incidences that stymied the progress of planning. For instance, while our officers were eagerly awaiting the scheduled arrival of the DPRK’s advance team, the latter abruptly cancelled their flight to Singapore because of an unforeseen circumstance. In addition, efforts to finalise the arrangements for the armoured vehicles seemed futile when our officers received news on 25 May that the summit would be cancelled. Plans were stalled. When the news came that the summit will resume, our officers had no time to waste. Like all other units in the Singapore Police Force, we worked tirelessly round the clock to prepare the event.

The SecCom assembled the most experienced and skilled personal security officers for this event. These officers were carefully selected based on their strengths and competencies before they were assigned to critical operational roles. In the meantime, the planning team also continued to conduct ground recces and meetings with the relevant stakeholders to consolidate plans, and to conduct briefings for officers involved to ensure that every single one know their roles and responsibilities.

Source: The Straits Times (c) Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Permission required for reproduction.

With a wealth of ground experience, our officers had little difficulty adapting to a myriad of situations. This included an ad-hoc request by DPRK Leader Kim Jong Un to visit some of Singapore’s iconic attractions, which included Gardens by the Bay and the Marina Bay Sands integrated resorts, a day before the summit. Despite having only three hours to plan, develop and execute the security plan for the sightseeing trip, SecCom security team remained undaunted as they quickly work with the respective agencies and stakeholders to recce the route and identify potential hotspots. With all that meticulous planning, the trip went on without a hitch.

SecCom is proud to have a played a part in ensuring the safety and security of the leaders and their delegates. Whether it involved overcoming a language barrier, attending to special requests by the head of state to visit places of interest or conducting impromptu operations to protect the leaders, our officers were quick to respond and were able to accomplish their mission effectively.

Kudos to all SecCom officers for contributing to the success of this historic event!

Last Updated on 05 September 2018