Singapore-Indonesia Combined Troops and Tanks Capture Urban Area in Flagship Exercise, Singapore News & Top Stories

SINGAPORE – Under heavy enemy fire, more than 400 Singaporean and Indonesian soldiers fought together, storming and capturing a series of buildings in rapid succession, clearing the area for two Leopard tanks to enter.

The combined exercise of the Field Battalion at the Murai Urban Training Center near Lim Chu Kang on Monday, November 20, was the culmination of the annual flagship exercise between the two infantrymen.

Four Leopard main battle tanks took part in this year’s Safkar Indopura exercise for the first time, marking a deepening of defense cooperation between the two sides. These tanks added to the complexity of the mission and allowed crews from different armies to exchange knowledge.

They included two which were operated by combined crews of four men each.

Exercise Safkar Indopura, held annually since 1989, began on November 13 of this year.

Leopard 2SG main battle tanks, jointly operated by SAF and TNI-AD soldiers, entering the combat zone, during exercise Safkar Indopura, November 20, 2017. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

To mark 50 years of bilateral relations between the two countries this year, a 3,000m combined jump, with two lead jumpers, each carrying their national flag, was scheduled for the closing ceremony of the exercise, but was canceled due to dark cloud formation.

Despite the gloomy weather, the ceremony, chaired by Army Chief Melvyn Ong and TNI-AD Chief of Staff Mulyono, continued, with troops forming number “50” marching.

Calling the exercise “a cornerstone of interactions between the TNI-AD and the Singapore Army,” Major-General Ong said the frequent bilateral interactions over the past 50 years have shown a high level of mutual trust between the two countries.

He added: “This is no accident. It is only through the will and initiative of the two nations that we are able to take a long term approach and work to achieve our collective goals. “

To demonstrate the close defense cooperation between the two armies, the troops fought side by side under a combined headquarters led by two exercise directors – one on each side.

A total of 474 infantry and armor were involved in Safkar Indopura this year – 300 members of the Singapore Army and 174 of the TNI-AD.

Singapore Army and TNI-AD soldiers applaud during the closing ceremony for Exercise Safkar Indopura, November 20, 2017. PHOTO ST: LIM YAOHUI

In addition to the field exercise, planning, urban operations training and live fire exercises were also conducted.

Major-General Ong noted that this was the first time Singapore had trained with soldiers from a foreign army in a leopard tank, adding that it was a clear indication of the mutual trust and understanding that the two parts have developed over the years.

Major Medi Haryo Wibowo, 38, commander of the 312nd Infantry Battalion, TNI-AD, said: “The exercise has been excellent because our troops from both armies can share knowledge, respect and understand each other. . “

On his training experience with the Indonesians, 3SG Section Commander Muhammad Abdul Rahman, 19, said: “I was very impressed with their aggressiveness in combat. Some of them really shouted and made sure. that each of their men knew what to do – I could hear the screams from afar. “

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