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US and Singapore conduct urban operations during exercise Tiger Balm

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Soldiers from the Singapore Army and the US Army have participated in urban operations as part of the annual bilateral exercise Tiger Balm 2019.

The integrated urban operations exercise was executed at the Murai Urban Training Facility (MUTF) in Singapore.

Exercise Tiger Balm, first conducted in 1981, is designed to enhance interoperability between the two armies.

Said to be the longest-running bilateral exercise between the Singapore Army and US Army, Tiger Balm allows forces to collaborate and share tactics, techniques and procedures.

The brigade-level exercise commenced on 8 July and involved a total of around 766 personnel.

The US Army was represented by forces from the 33rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 2-130th Infantry Battalion (2-130 IN), and 1-23 Stryker Platoon, while the 76th Singapore Infantry Brigade and 5th Battalion Singapore Infantry Regiment (5 SIR) represented the Singapore Army.

Assets that participated in the exercise include the US Stryker Combat Vehicles and the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF)’s Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicles.

During the urban operations exercise, troops performed mounted and dismounted actions.

Troops split into friendly forces and another group that represented enemy forces.

The friendly forces launched an assault within MUTF to seize control of the area of operations.

SAF 6th Singapore Division commander brigadier-general Lee Yi-Jin said: “39 years incidentally makes it the longest-standing bilateral exercise that the Singapore Army has, with anybody. I think that in itself says something about the relationship that we have, it is an excellent relationship… It is built on professionalism, mutual trust… I think it is not common that two armies can operate like this so comfortably at the various echelons.”

The SAF’s Strike Observer Mission (STORM) team and the US Army’s Fire Support Team (FiST) extended support during the exercise by providing target surveillance and acquisition support.

This year’s exercise also saw an integrated explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) team perform improvised explosive device scenarios for the first time.



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