A Force-level Counter Terrorism (CT) exercise, codenamed “HARDSHIELD” , was conducted from May 8 to 12 under the co-ordination of the Counter Terrorism and Internal Security Division of the Operations Wing.
The exercise aimed at achieving two main objectives: assessing the effectiveness of Force-level CT contingency plans and procedures and the inter-operability of formations and frontline and CT units in conducting an anti-terrorism operation, as well as heightening the overall CT awareness and readiness of all formations and units within the Force.
The exercise was mounted with reference to the scenarios of the recent terror attacks worldwide. It simulated the modus operandi of the latest terrorist attacks, with a car ramming into a crowd and taking hostages at the Auxiliary Police Force Headquarters in Kowloon Bay as the focus.
With the close co-operation of frontline units and the Force’s units taking key CT responsibilities, including the Special Duties Unit, the Counter Terrorism Response Unit, the Police Negotiation Cadre and the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Bureau, the exercise not only offered a golden opportunity for these units to practise and test their respective CT contingency plans, but also provided a good occasion to enhance the inter-operability between the Force and other government departments and organisations providing emergency services, such as the Fire Services Department, the Customs and Excise Department, the Government Flying Service, the Civil Aid Service and Hong Kong St John Ambulance.
To demonstrate the Force’s CT capabilities to the community and for the benefit of other formations, representatives from the Counter Terrorism Emergency Co-ordination Team, the media and other Major Formations were invited to observe the exercise.
The Incident Commander, Assistant Commissioner (Operations) Cheng Yiu-mo, commented that throughout the five-day intensive exercise, all involved formations and units had enhanced their inter-operability in dealing with terrorist situations. He added that there were valuable lessons learned which would be used to fine-tune the Force’s CT plans to make them even more robust and effective.