Exercise Crescent Star (XCS), an inaugural bilateral exercise held between the Singapore Armed Forces and the Australian Defence Force, recently concluded at Nee Soon Camp. Spanning a duration of six days from 24 to 29 October, the exercise involved 220 participants from the Singapore Army's Army Deployment Force and the Australian Army's Rifle Company Butterworth.
Throughout the course of XCS, participants shared their tactics, techniques and procedures for Close Quarters Battle with each other. They then took part in small arms live-firing followed by an integrated company manoeuvre exercise.
It all kick-started with a small arms live-firing at Nee Soon Range, where participants took part in a shooting meet. There, both armies were put to the test as they pitched their best shooters against each other in a friendly shooting competition.
Our Army's soldier engaging a figure 12 target in prone position from a 100m firing point with a Singapore Assault Rifle - 21st Century Modular Mounting System.
Then, the soldiers charged forward to the 50m firing point, where they engaged the targets.
In order to enhance their interoperability, both armies also participated in an integrated company manoeuvre exercise (CME) at the Murai Urban Training Facility, where they cooperated to attack and capture an urban objective. Despite fierce resistance from the defending team, the integrated company was eventually able to overcome the enemy forces to achieve their mission objective.
A soldier keeping a lookout for the enemy forces.
The exercise participants planning their next move.
During the exercise, the Australian soldiers also went through Vocational Fitness Training, where they tried their hands at the Vocational Obstacle Course (VOC). With the soldiers from RCB going through and tackling obstacles such as the low wall and apex ladder, it enabled them to experience one aspect of the multifaceted training our soldiers undergo.
Australian soldiers undergoing the Vocational Obstacle Course.
For LTA Wong, Platoon Commander of 1st Platoon, he noted that their usual training had prepared them well for the exercise. "Each quarter, we conduct a Company Mission Exercise (CME), which tests us in new and increasingly complex scenarios. Such an exercise enables us to assess our capabilities and ensure our operational readiness, keeping us 'Always Ready'."
While CFC Loh, one of the exercise participants, felt that the training during the exercise was not new to them, he noted that the experience was enriching. "The exercise allowed me and my peers to experience and learn from the Australian soldiers' drills and procedures, such as their alternative firing postures when shooting."
For 2SG Syakir, Conducting Specialist for the small arms live-firing, this exercise has been a great learning experience and shows how communication is vital for mission success, "I have learnt that communication was key for us to coordinate our procedures and movements, such as during CME," he explained. "Throughout the exercise, we learned from them and they learned from us."
XCS served as an excellent opportunity for both armies to enhance our interoperability with each other and in so doing, strengthen our defence ties. The Singapore Army would like to thank our Army Deployment Force and the Australian Army's Rifle Company Butterworth for the successful exercise, and trust that the meaningful professional exchanges have helped to not just foster strong bonds between the soldiers, but also serve as a chance to further enhance the soldiers' operational readiness.
Written by: PTE Teo Hao Yu
Photography by: CPL Marcus Teo
An explosion resounded through the training field, marking the start of the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) live-firing exercise, code-named Daring Warrior, at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, USA. The live-firing exercise was conducted from 8 to 25 October, and approximately 150 personnel from the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) participated in it.
The highlight of the exercise was definitely the combined live-firing exercise conducted by both the United States (US) Army and Singapore Army. This involved HIMARS from both armies engaging a distant target in a mission. Senior Minister of State for Defence, Dr Mohamad Maliki bin Osman, visited the troops and noted that the training in the U.S. provided valuable opportunities for the SAF to hone its capabilities. He said, "This exercise has deepened the professional cooperation and personal linkages between the US Army and the Singapore Army. Participating in the exercise also strengthens our servicemen's operational readiness, as they get to train in a challenging operational environment. The successful conduct of the exercise also exemplifies the competence and professionalism of our SAF servicemen."
Soldiers from the US Army and the Singapore Army interacting during the professional exchange.
Our soldiers learning more about the US Army's Multiple Launch Rocket Systems.
Dr Maliki engaging the troops.
A HIMARS crew, which consists of 3SG Joel Tan Ze An, 3SG Richard Yang Run Ze and CPL Leonard Toh Jia En, shared that this exercise had indeed increased their operational readiness. "Having accomplished what we came here to do during the exercise after numerous months of training in Singapore, we feel that we are now more operationally ready and we look forward to share our experiences with the others back in our unit." The crew was also thankful to have been able to train alongside the US soldiers in the challenging terrain. "The weather and terrain here are very different from Singapore, however as a crew, we managed to adapt and work together to overcome the challenges."
One of the HIMARS crew: CPL Leonard Toh Jia En (left), 3SG Joel Tan Ze An (centre) and 3SG Richard Yang Run Ze (right).
To maintain the serviceability of the HIMARS, a Forward Repair Team (FRT) is always attached to the battery. Being a team of technicians, the FRT provides immediate response to all HIMARS facing technical issues while being deployed out in the field. Speaking to ME2 Gan Soon Heng, a HIMARS technician, he highlighted that "in order to maintain the serviceability of the HIMARS, we are always on standby to repair and recover the HIMARS in the fastest possible time".
The success of this exercise is also attributed to the preparation work done months ahead by the Forward Support Group (FSG). They helped to ensure that all of the logistical requirements and equipment were well taken care of. On top of providing assistance to the troops in orientation driving, these unsung heroes were also in charge of ration and amenities allocation. Having been appointed as the Second-In-Charge (2IC) FSG for the first time, 3WO Tan Swet Hong Serin said that she "had an eye-opening experience as I got to work with various individuals from different backgrounds in the U.S. and Singapore Armies. It was fruitful and meaningful to see that the exercise was completed smoothly".
Conducted since 2010, XDW 18 is the 7th in the series, underscoring the excellent and long-standing defence relationship between the U.S. and Singapore. The strong partnership with the U.S. Army bears testament to the defence ties between the U.S. and Singapore. In addition to bilateral exercises, both armies also engage in a wide range of bilateral activities to foster mutual understanding and enhance interoperability. These include reciprocal visits, professional interactions, and cross-attendance of military courses.
In Oriente Primus!
Written by: Ms. Calister Ruan Sim
Photography by: LCP Ng Ketian and CPL Raphael Marc Thomas (23 SA Media Team)
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