Thursday, February 17, 2011

DTN News - DEFENSE NEWS: Singapore And Brunei Armies Forge Closer Ties

Defense News: DTN News - DEFENSE NEWS: Singapore And Brunei Armies Forge Closer Ties
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources By Ong Hong Tat - Ministry of Defence Singapore
(NSI News Source Info) SINGAPORE - February 17, 2011: Since 10 Feb, some 500 personnel from the Army and the Royal Brunei Land Forces (RBLF) have been training together as part of the annual bilateral exercise, codenamed Maju Bersama.

Troops from the 1st Battalion, Singapore Infantry Regiment (1 SIR) and Delta Company, 2nd Battalion RBLF conducted integrated urban operations (UO) drills at the Murai Urban Training Facility (MUTF), as part of the exercise.

"We are here to share our drills with the RBLF soldiers and learn from each other," said Lieutenant (LTA) Mohd Najibullah, a Platoon Commander from 1 SIR.

Soldiers from both sides started off with group, section and platoon-level drills, culminating in a concurrent company-level assault on various objectives within the MUTF.

During the exercise, the camaraderie among soldiers from the two armies was clearly evident. "Many of my fellow RBLF officers have ties with Singapore, having attended Officer Cadet School (OCS) here." said Major (MAJ) Mohd Suwardi, Officer Commanding of Delta Company, 2nd Battalion RBLF.

MAJ Suwardi himself attended OCS in 1998, and was commissioned as an officer in Singapore.

"Initially, we struggled to communicate with each other but we worked around it by getting soldiers who speak both English and Malay to relay our messages to one another," said LTA Najibullah.

"Within the first few hours, we were understanding each other well."

Moving in teams of about six, soldiers from 1 SIR carried out their tactical urban operations drills, observed by the RBLF troops.

"The Singapore Army certainly possesses a high level of proficiency in UO. I would say that both sides have benefited a lot from the exercise," commented MAJ Suwardi.

Similarly, soldiers from 1 SIR were impressed with the RBLF's expertise in the conduct of jungle warfare. "They showed us some of their survival skills such as setting up animal traps. I can tell that they are really professional and experienced [in jungle survival]," said Private Muhammad Irsyad, a trooper from 1 SIR.

In addition to the urban operations drills conducted at the MUTF, the eight-day exercise, which concluded today, included brigade-level planning and a combined live-firing exercise.

First conducted in 1995, Exercise Maju Bersama underscores the close and long-standing defence ties between Singapore and Brunei. Both armies engage in regular bilateral exercises, visits and professional exchanges, which have fostered mutual understanding and enhanced interoperability between the two armies.


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