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