21 November 2011
Singapore and Malaysian troops perfecting their urban drills together on 17 Nov. (photo : Mindef)
For six days beginning 15 Nov, a total of 400 personnel from the Singapore and Malaysian armies have been hard at work perfecting their moves together in a bilateral exercise codenamed Semangat Bersatu.
Culminating in a full-troop exercise, Exercise Semangat Bersatu provided soldiers from the 4th Singapore Infantry Regiment (4 SIR) and the 1st Battalion Royal Malay Regiment (1 RMR) with many chances to share professional experiences.
At the closing ceremony held on 21 Nov in Singapore, Chief of Army Major-General (MG) Ravinder Singh said: "As the security issues that our countries face become more challenging, our two armies must be ready to cooperate to achieve our common goals and interests. I believe that the exercise provides an excellent platform for us to facilitate mutual learning and increase the interoperability between our armies."
He was joined by his counterpart General Datuk Haji Zulkifli bin Haji Zainal Abidin, who added: "I am sure that all participants have benefited from the exercise, especially the Malaysian soldiers, who have learnt a lot about the conduct of urban operations."
Prior to the closing ceremony, both men observed the conduct of an urban operation training drill which saw soldiers from both sides working closely with each other to achieve their mission objectives.
On the ground, sentiments were similarly upbeat. "The level of cooperation was very high," said Captain Edwin Chua, a Platoon Commander in 4 SIR. "Initially there were some challenges because of language differences, but we overcame that because both sides made every effort to communicate."
"We worked well together even though we follow different doctrines, especially in the area of tactics during urban operations," said Sergeant Henri Purna Irawan Bin Basir, a Section Commander in 1 RMR.
This year marks the 17th time that the two armies are training together in this series of exercise. First conducted in 1989, Exercise Semangat Bersatu provides an excellent opportunity for both armies to strengthen professional interactions and enhance mutual understanding between personnel.