SAF armour simulation centre hosts Brunei Prince

Crown Prince Al-Muhtadee Billah (wearing red beret) observing a firing demonstration on a simulator with (seated in front row, from right) Major-General Melvyn Ong, Mr Ong Ye Kung and Dr Janil Puthucheary.
Crown Prince Al-Muhtadee Billah (wearing red beret) observing a firing demonstration on a simulator with (seated in front row, from right) Major-General Melvyn Ong, Mr Ong Ye Kung and Dr Janil Puthucheary.PHOTO: MINDEF

Brunei's Crown Prince Al-Muhtadee Billah yesterday visited the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Armour Simulation Centre, where he observed how training was conducted and spoke with Bruneian soldiers training there.

He is the first foreign dignitary to visit the centre, which was opened in a separate ceremony earlier yesterday. Hosting him was Second Minister for Defence Ong Ye Kung.

At the centre located in Sungei Gedong Camp, Prince Billah was briefed on virtual simulation systems for gunnery, tactical manoeuvre and driving training, said the Ministry of Defence (Mindef).

He observed demonstrations on two simulators - the Armour Driving Simulator and the Armour Gunnery and Manoeuvre Simulator - that let soldiers hone their skills without going out into the field.

Prince Billah also interacted with Royal Brunei Armed Forces personnel training with the SAF.

Mindef said the visit "underscores the close defence relationship between Singapore and Brunei forged since 1976".

"The longstanding defence relationship has deepened with the growth in scope and complexity of interactions between the SAF and the Royal Brunei Armed Forces," it added in a statement, pointing out that troops from both countries interact regularly through bilateral exercises, visits and professional exchanges, among other things.

The Crown Prince is on a six-day visit here that ends today, as part of the fourth Singapore-Brunei Young Leaders' Programme. The programme was launched in 2013 to boost ties between young leaders.

On Monday, Prince Billah was hosted to lunch by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. They discussed bilateral cooperation and developments in both countries.

This week, Prince Billah received several briefings - including on strategic planning, developments in Punggol and the Committee on the Future Economy - and visited the Home Team Tactical Centre.

Danson Cheong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 02, 2016, with the headline 'SAF armour simulation centre hosts Brunei Prince'. Print Edition | Subscribe