[About this blog] Inspired by local soccer player Mike Lim during my rookie reporter days at Singapore Polytechnic, I set up this blog in August 2002. I feel that blogging is a novel platform to document interesting facets of my life and my thoughts on certain issues. [Email blogger] ephraim@singnet.com.sg

Thursday, December 09, 2004

[cbre defence group]
in the news today: SAF holds first ever joint bio-chem defence demo with US forces...

something interesting... here's a little gold nugget on my unit...

SINGAPORE : One of Singapore's Army camps - Nee Soon in the North - was attacked by a simulated deadly release of both sarin and ricin on Thursday afternoon.

But Singapore's Armed Forces swung into action to detect and contain the toxic agents in time.

The demonstration was the army's first coordinated effort with their US counterparts in bio-chemical defence.

A home-made bomb exploded just as guests at an outdoor event escaped in time to safety.

But the danger still lurked.

So teams from the Army's Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Explosives Defence Group, and the US 4th Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team were called in.

Almost immediately, traces of ricin were detected and sarin was also identified on site.

To make matters worse, the teams found a package containing Cobalt-60, a radioactive substance.

Experts say that it is unlikely that a triple attack of bio-chem and radiation substances could happen at the same time.

But this army wanted to be fully prepared.

Colonel Ho Kong Wai, Head, Chemical, Biological, Radioactive and Explosives Defence Group, said, "We are always looking for ways to break new ground, and to fight this threat of CBRE, we need to have bilateral and joint training, and this has provided us an excellent opportunity to benchmark our capabilities, drills and procedures. We have benefited greatly from this experience. "

Major General David Poythress, Commander, Georgia National Guard, said, "One of the things I have been extremely impressed by here is your research and development...a number of items you have under development here that we can learn quite a bit from.

"As you can see, the teams train on essentially the same equipment, and are trained to the same standard, and what we saw here today was how easily inter-operable they are in dealing with a weapon of mass destruction incident."

This is the first time the SAF has worked with their US counterpart on a joint bio-chem defence demonstration.

It was also an opportunity for more than 200 bio-chem defence scientists from around the world to have a first hand look at the SAF's CBRE Defence Group capabilities.

The experts are in Singapore for the seven-day International Symposium on Protection Against Toxic Substances. - CNA


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