I am Darwin Lee, and have recently attained my Pilot Wings from the Singapore Youth Flying Club (SYFC)! My passion for flying started when I was young – my father is an RSAF Fighter pilot, and he would often share his experiences and stories with me. He would also take me to the RSAF Open Houses and air shows. When I first sat in the cockpit of an aircraft, I already imagined how it would be like to fly it one day. It is truly a dream come true for me!
The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and the United States Marine Corps (USMC) are conducting the 23rd edition of the annual bilateral Exercise Valiant Mark from 11 to 29 April 2019. The exercise is held in Singapore this year. Commander 7th Singapore Infantry Brigade, Colonel (COL) Xu Youfeng and Commander 7th Marine Regiment, USMC COL Kyle B. Ellison co-officiated at the opening ceremony at Bedok Camp on 15 April 2019.
Around 900 personnel from the SAF's 7th Singapore Infantry Brigade, 1st Battalion Singapore Guards, 24th Battalion Singapore Artillery and the Army Deployment Force, and the 2nd Battalion of the USMC 7th Marine Regiment, are participating in the exercise. The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) also deployed four AH-64D Apache attack helicopters, two CH-47SD Chinook helicopters and two AS332 Super Puma helicopters to support the exercise.
This year's exercise will culminate in a battalion heli-borne mission taking place tomorrow, which will entail joint planning and a deliberate assault by the troops. Other exercise elements over the past two weeks include live-firing, jungle training and urban operations training.
Launched in 1991, Exercise Valiant Mark underscores the excellent and long-standing bilateral defence relations between Singapore and the US. The two militaries interact regularly through numerous bilateral and multilateral exercises, high-level visits, professional exchanges as well as the cross-attendance of courses and seminars. These mutually beneficial exchanges have enhanced the professionalism and strengthened the interoperability of both armed forces. It has also forged strong rapport and camaraderie among their personnel.