1,200 kilometres away from home, more than 240 soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, Singapore Infantry Regiment (3 SIR) and 1st Battalion, Royal Brunei Land Force (RBLF) successfully concluded the 24th edition of Exercise Maju Bersama (XMB), from 30 Jan to 9 Feb 2020. Our Chief of Army, MG Goh Si Hou and Commander of the RBLF, BG Dato Seri Pahlawan Awang Khairul Hamed bin Awang Haji Lampoh, co-officiated the closing ceremony at Penanjong Garrison, Muara District, Brunei on the final day of exercise.
During the exercise, troops from 3 SIR and RBLF trained together in close quarter battle environment, exchanging drills on clearing rooms, windows and buildings. The exercise concluded with a high during the final counter-terrorist mission in an urban raid with simultaneous assault to neutralise enemy threats. We got in touch with LTA Lim Pei Ling, Platoon Commander, 3 SIR, to find out what went on during the exercise.
As part of mutual exchange, our soldiers shared with soldiers from RBLF on our Urban Operation Capability Enhancement (UOCE) equipment such as our Round Corner Sensor, Key Hole Sensor as well as Forward Sensor System. The RBLF also shared with us weapons used by them such as the M16A2 Assault Rifle and the Heavy Barrelled Automatic Rifle. This professional exchange session opened the eyes of soldiers from both 3 SIR and RBLF to the equipment that each other use during missions.
3WO Inndramawan Bin Riduan (second from left), Company Sergeant Major from 3 SIR, sharing the specifications of Key Hole Sensor with the Commander of RBLF.
A RBLF soldier having a go at our UOCE, Round Corner Sensor during the professional exchange session.
Prior to the commencement of training, soldiers had to undergo Immediate Action (IA) drills to inculcate confidence of weapon handling in them. Additionally, Just-in-Time (JIT) training was conducted to refresh the movement needed for urban operations.
Soldiers from 3 SIR doing their warm up drills in preparation for urban operations.
Gearing up for the final mission
As part of the preparation for the final mission, our soldiers engaged in a tabletop exercise where both sides had the opportunity to exchange their tactics and techniques. The final mission eventually involved one platoon each from 3 SIR and RBLF, forming a composite force, to jointly assault the objective.
CPT Jaryl Ng (far right), Officer Commanding of Charlie Company, engaging in tabletop exercise with the officers of RBLF.
Reflecting on how they managed to achieve mission success during the final mission, LTA Choi Jihwan, Platoon Commander of Charlie Company, 3 SIR, attributes it to the strong team work between the two forces. "As a Platoon Commander, I had to coordinate the attack throughout different phrases of the assault, and make quick assessments on the ground. With a platoon focused on mission success, we were able to work together to quickly react to unprecedented situations and uprisings. This was also an eye-opening experience for me as I had the opportunity to interact with the RBLF and understand the differences and similarities between the two forces."
LTA Choi Jihwan (left), Platoon Commander of Charlie Company, discussing with LT. Saffuan (right) from RBLF on how the composite section from their platoons could attack the objective.
First shot out
After close to six days of component training, soldiers from 3 SIR and RBLF were ready for the final mission! Working closely together, in a span of an hour, all objectives were swiftly secured, and "terrorists" were fully neutralised.
Soldiers charging towards the objective!
Soldiers from both forces working hand in hand to ensure mission success.
Further enhancing the interoperability between the two forces, combat medics from 3 SIR and RBLF also worked together to perform medical aid to combat casualties during the final mission for the first time.
3SG Alfred Ho Zheng Ting, a combat medic from 3 SIR, shared his thoughts on working with the RBLF and how safety was not compromised during the exercise. "Working with the RBLF during the final mission was a humbling experience, a rare opportunity that I wouldn't have back home. During this exercise, safety was observed throughout especially in the light of the recent COVID-19 outbreak. We conducted temperature taking, water parades and commanders were constantly on the lookout for soldiers who were unwell."
Soldiers from 3 SIR and RBLF jointly carrying combat casualties into the Armoured Personnel Carrier.
3SG Alfred Ho Zheng Ting (first from left), exchanging medical knowledge and bandage wrapping technique with the medics from RBLF.
Besides 3SG Alfred, LCP Muhammed Fakhrin Ruzain Shah Bin Muhammad also appreciated the experience he had working with the RBLF. In particular, he shared how, despite the differences between the both armies, they were able to form friendships and fight alongside each other.
"Throughout the exercise, I realised that both forces have different ways of doing things, such as executing drills for urban operations. But, I am happy that we got to exchange knowledge with one another and try out each other’s drills. This friendship built is something I really appreciate at the end of this exercise, as we can lend each other support whenever needed."
LCP Muhammed Fakhrin Ruzain Shah Bin Muhammad (left), with his buddy LCP Ezekiel Shoban S/O Logan (right).
The successful conduct of yet another iteration of Exercise Maju Bersama this year encapsulated the close working ties that Our Army has with the RBLF, and we look forward to forging more friendships through other bilateral activities!
Our Chief of Army, MG Goh Si Hou (left), with the Commander of RBLF, BG Dato Seri Pahlawan Awang Khairul Hamed bin Awang Haji Lampoh (right) at the closing ceremony of Exercise Maju Bersama.
Contributed by: 3rd Battalion, Singapore Infantry Regiment