The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and the Australian Defence Force (ADF) are conducting the bilateral ship-to-shore component of Exercise Wallaby, called Exercise Trident, at the Shoalwater Bay Training Area in Queensland, Australia. This year's exercise is conducted from 28 October to 4 November 2016, and involves more than 2,100 personnel from both militaries.
“ Exercise Trident demonstrates how the 3rd Generation SAF fights as a networked and integrated force, together with our key partner, the ADF. It also provides us with great opportunities to exercise a wide spectrum of our operational concepts and capabilities. ”
– Chief of Staff-Joint Staff Brigadier-General Chia Choon Hoong
This is the first edition of Exercise Trident after both armed forces have committed to develop it into the signature bilateral joint military exercise, under the Singapore-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP) concluded by both Prime Ministers in June 2015. It features the largest contribution from the SAF since the exercise series was launched in 2013, and involves a battalion-level amphibious operation with the objective of securing the beach front and inland objectives as well as a battalion-level heli-borne insertion operation. SAF platforms from all three services are also participating in the exercise, including the Lighter Amphibious Resupply Cargo V from the Singapore Army; the AH-64D Apache attack helicopter, CH-47 Chinook helicopter, AS 332M Super Puma helicopter, and Heron-1 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle from the Republic of Singapore Air Force; as well as the Landing Ship Tank RSS Resolution from the Republic of Singapore Navy.
The exercise provides many opportunities for both armed forces to enhance their professionalism and interoperability as well as strengthen people-to-people ties, such as team-building activities and cross training on urban operations.
Chief of Staff-Joint Staff Brigadier-General Chia Choon Hoong, who observed the exercise, emphasised the significance of Exercise Trident. He said, "Exercise Trident demonstrates how the 3rd Generation SAF fights as a networked and integrated force, together with our key partner, the ADF. It also provides us with great opportunities to exercise a wide spectrum of our operational concepts and capabilities." Noting the bilateral interactions during the past week, he added, "With the recent signing of the Singapore-Australia CSP, Exercise Trident 2016 marks the beginning of a new chapter in SAF-ADF ties and cooperation. The spirit of camaraderie and mutual trust amongst the soldiers from both militaries remain high, the professional exchanges and mutual learning have been invaluable, and we are able to scale new heights of interoperability between both forces. This will put us in a stronger position to work even closer together in the future."
The SAF and the ADF share a long history of military cooperation, with extensive interactions that include bilateral and multilateral exercises, mutual visits, professional exchanges, the cross attendance of personnel at professional courses, and operational deployments such as in the Middle East and Afghanistan.