From 2 to 4 Apr 2019, Exercise Coordinated Response (Ex COORES) was held at the Multinational Operations and Exercise Centre at Changi Command & Control Centre in Changi Naval Base. The three-day exercise involved more than 200 participants from over 25 militaries and 19 non-militaries organisations, such as United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, World Health Organisation, as well as World Food Programme.
The exercise started off with academic presentations by various participating organisations on key topics such as the Multinational Coordination Centre's (MNCC) standard operating procedures and its concept of operations. This was followed by focus group discussions to allow cross-sharing of knowledge and experience among participants, before transiting to the Table Top Exercise (TTX).
SLTC Lim Kok Kheng, Head Plans and Senior Air Coordination Officer, sharing on how Regional Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Coordination Centre operates as part of the MNCC during a disaster relief effort.
COL James Liew, Director Regional Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Coordination Centre, and BG Md Nurul Anwar, Director General Operations and Plan Directorate, Armed Forces Division from Bangladesh engaged in a focus group discussion.
The TTX was co-organised by the Singapore Armed Forces Changi Regional Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) Coordination Centre (RHCC), Bangladesh Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief as well as Armed Forces Division (AFD) and US INDOPACOM Centre for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance (CFE-DM). In the aftermath of a natural disaster, Foreign Military Assistance is one of the possible key responders able to render HADR to the affected region, as the military possesses projection capabilities (such as strategic air or sealift), medical aids and equipment that are critical during a disaster response. Ex COORES tested the MNCC's response in an exercise scenario where a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck along the Madhurpur fault line about 60km north-northwest of Dhaka, Bangladesh in Tangail town.
During the TTX, participants harnessed the technological capabilities of RHCC's OPERA Computer Information System (CIS). OPERA collates critical information such as casualty numbers, type of aid required as well as type of aid contributed by different organisations to prevent duplication and to facilitate prioritisation of aid.
Participants of Ex COORES 19 actively engaged during a training session on the use of the RHCC's OPERA CIS.
"When we first started out, we realised this exercise has really expanded the capacities for Changi RHCC and my organisation. We should really keep this effort up in the future," shared Mr Joseph D. Martin, Director, CFE-DM when asked about his thoughts regarding the exercise. Indeed, Ex COORES has demonstrated the readiness and professionalism of our regional HADR partners. These experiences not only sharpened our ability to provide a coordinated response, it also reaffirmed the close ties between Singapore and various participating nations and organisations.
Contributed by: Media Management Committee, Ex COORES 19
Held from 6 to 25 Mar, approximately 170 servicemen from 1st Company, 48th Battalion Singapore Armoured Regiment (48 SAR) participated in Exercise Panzer Strike (XPS) in the Oberlausitz Military Training Area (OMTA). The almost 3-week long exercise involved servicemen executing their Tank Platoon and Company Armour Live Fire System as a validation of their operational readiness. In addition, a bilateral live-firing exercise with our German counterparts from 4th Company, Panzerbataillon 393 was conducted.
Sharpening Our Gunnery Competency
A quarter the size of Singapore, the OMTA enabled our tank crews to enhance their skills in gunnery and manoeuver. CPL Lian Ray Han, tank operator (gunner), was one of those who cherished the opportunity to train in OMTA. When asked about what he found interesting about the exercise, he explained, "XPS was the first time we could have such a huge firing range to work on, which made it challenging to acquire our targets. It was also the first time I engaged targets while my tank was moving, something that we could not do in Singapore. This requires the precise coordination of the entire tank crew to keep the tank steady until the target is engaged."
CPL Lian Ray Han (second from left) together with his tank crewmates.
When asked about his most memorable moment during the exercise, CPL Chua Yu Hao, tank operator (driver), shared, "My most memorable moment would be during the Company Armour Live-Fire System, when my entire company simultaneously fired at the targets. This was the moment I realized the true capability of a tank company – to destroy our enemy forces aggressively in a swift and decisive manner."
CPL Chua Yu Hao performing routine pre-checks prior to the Live Fire exercise.
Benchmarking Ourselves with Friends
3SG Fabian Lim, Cub Commander, was one of the commanders involved in the bilateral exercise with the German Armed Forces. When asked about what he learnt from the bilateral exercise, he shared, "The experience that our German counterparts brought to the exercise was evident as we saw them manoeuvring their tanks with precision. Training with them also affirmed us of Our Army's training competency and system. A genuine friendship and keen desire to learn from each other was seen throughout the exercise and I am thankful for the opportunity to train alongside the German Armed Forces."
3SG Fabian Lim
Mission First, Safety Always
As always, safety was of paramount importance throughout XPS. When asked about how safety was ensured during the exercise, CPL Mohith Kanna, tank operator (loader), mentioned that, "Safety was held as the first priority by commanders and soldiers alike throughout the exercise. I personally ensured safety by asking questions when I was in doubt and only proceeded when I was clear of what I needed to do to carry out the task safely. Most importantly, my commanders were role models for us as they took safety seriously and adhered to safe practices throughout the course of the exercise."
CPL Mohith Kanna
Exercise Panzer Strike 2019 is the 11th in its series and is a strong demonstration of the warm and growing ties between Germany and Singapore. Our Army would like to thank our soldiers and the German Armed Forces for their hardwork in ensuring a successful exercise!
1st Company, Lead The Way!
Contributed by: LTA Kenneth Wong, 48th Battalion Singapore Armoured Regiment
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