Airports are always preparing for the “worst case scenario,” though typically the preparation happens behind the scenes. Well, in the case of Singapore Changi Airport they did a simulated terrorist attack training exercise early this morning, and it’s fascinating to watch. This was called Exercise Northstar, was led by the Singapore Police Force, and was the 10th such exercise involving more than 650 personnel from the Singapore Civil Defense Force, Singapore Armed Forces, and other agencies.
This simulation included a few different exercises:
- Two masked gunmen stormed the Changi Airport MRT station and fired throughout the platform
- A suicide bomber detonated his vest in the departures area, causing a loud blast
- In the gate area there was a bag with an explosive device in it
Here are some videos of the incident, which give you a sense of just how serious this exercise was:
— Aqil Haziq Mahmud (@AqilHaziqCNA) October 16, 2017
Per Channel News Asia:
“Exercises such as Northstar 10 Phase 1 allows SPF and other agencies to jointly test and validate the multi-agency emergency response to possible terror attacks,” SPF director operations Assistant Commissioner (AC) How Kwang Hwee said.
“The ability to work well with various public and private stakeholders, in this instance the aviation sector, is critical to ensuring an effective response to any attack.”
In attendance for the event was the prime minister, deputy prime minister, home affairs minister, defense minister, and minister of education. The next phase of the exercise will be held on October 28.
Apparently there were signs posted all over the airport indicating that this exercise was happening, and it’s clear that areas were roped off. However, I have to assume that some people heard the sounds and were caught off guard, not knowing what was going on. This must have been scary for those people.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a video before of such a “realistic” simulation. In particular, I can’t help but feel like they’re really going all in with the acting/theatrics of it all, which I haven’t seen in similar simulations in the past.
(Tip of the hat to Curtis)