Exercise Panzer Strike (XPS) is an annual SAF overseas training exercise conducted in Bergen, a cold region in Germany. Said to be one of the largest military training area in Western Europe, the expansive live-firing range there allows our Armour troops the opportunity to practice firing on the move on a moving target, something not possible in Singapore's limited training area.
The exercise commenced on 21 April and involved soldiers from the 3rd Company, 48th Battalion, Singapore Armoured Regiment. Over the course of three weeks, they trained hard to hone their fighting skills and techniques. They also carried out several live-firing manoeuvres in the vast space of the German ranges.
Training with the German Army
The highlight of XPS 2012 came in the last week of the exercise when our Armour troops conducted the first inaugural bilateral live-firing exercise with the German Army Bundeswehr's 33rd Panzer Battalion. Over the course of two days, both armies trained together and exchanged information. This gave the participants a deeper insight into their platforms and their capabilities. The training culminated in a joint live-firing exercise during which both armies combined their forces to overrun an objective.
Besides training, our soldiers also took the opportunity to visit the Panzer Museum in the nearby town of Munster, which housed a huge collection of tanks from around the world.
Training in Germany was a very fulfilling experience for Tank Commander 2LT Phang Wei Zheng Trey. He shared, "Unlike Singapore, we can conduct our live-firing exercises here easily with its expansive training area. This exercise gave me a valuable opportunity to train with the specialists and men in a realistic live-firing exercise, and I’ve benefited a lot from it."
During the exercise, Loader CPL Joel Lum learnt from firsthand experience the importance of working together as a team. "I've learnt that we cannot function alone. For us to operate the tank, the whole team has to be competent and cooperate with one another," he said. Driver CPL Yeo Yi Long agreed, "All of us must be proficient in what we do in order to operate well."