02 Agustus 2011
Personnel and assets from the Army, the RSAF and the RSN taking part in the exercise. (all photos : Mindef)
The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) conducted a readiness exercise on 2 August 2011. The exercise involved troops from 1st Guards Battalion conducting a battalion coastal hook, supported by elements from the Army, the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) and the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN).
The exercise featured the recapture of an offshore island that had been occupied by an enemy force. Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen was present to witness the exercise today at Pulau Sudong. This was the first time Dr Ng visited an SAF exercise since he took over the defence portfolio in May 2011.
The exercise demonstrated the integration and operational readiness of the SAF. Dr Ng first observed SAF troops and M113 Armoured Personnel Carriers disembarking from the RSN fast crafts to secure the beach area with support from the RSAF F-16 fighter aircraft and Apache AH-64 helicopters. The troops then proceeded to advance inland supported by Light Strike Vehicles to capture the airstrip located in the centre of the island.
After the airstrip had been secured, Dr Ng saw a Super Puma helicopter deliver additional logistics supplies to the troops and evacuated simulated casualties. After viewing the exercise, Dr Ng spoke about the SAF's readiness and capability to execute a complex exercise involving elements of the three services, as well as the confidence of our soldiers.
He said, "They (the soldiers) must have confidence in the machines that we buy, the equipment that they have, their ability to execute these operations. I would say that at a professional level, it is not easy to do. It is tri-service which means that it involves elements of the Navy, the Air Force, and the Army. And your command and control systems need to be up to scratch. Your coordination and your ability to execute real time. It is complex."
Dr Ng was accompanied by Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant-General Neo Kian Hong and Chief of Army Major-General Ravinder Singh.