SAF armour troops complete bilateral live-firing exercise in Germany

Servicemen from the SAF and Bundeswehr in a discussion during Exercise Panzer Strike.
Servicemen from the SAF and Bundeswehr in a discussion during Exercise Panzer Strike. PHOTO: MINDEF
The Singapore Armed Forces’ (SAF’s) Leopard 2SG Main Battle Tank (MBT) (foreground) and Bundeswehr’s Leopard 2A6 MBT participating in bilateral training.
The Singapore Armed Forces’ (SAF’s) Leopard 2SG Main Battle Tank (MBT) (foreground) and Bundeswehr’s Leopard 2A6 MBT participating in bilateral training. PHOTO: MINDEF

SINGAPORE – The Singapore Armed Forces armour troops concluded a bilateral live-firing exercise on Wednesday with their German counterparts the Bundeswehr, as part of a three-month overseas training stint.

The drill is part of Exercise Panzer Strike – in its eighth instalment – and this year, for the first time, it is being held in the Oberlausitz military training area in eastern Germany. The area is a quarter of the size of Singapore.

In previous years, the exercise was held in the Nato-Bergen training area, in north-western Germany.

The live-firing was carried out by soldiers from the 3rd Company of the 48th Battalion Singapore Armoured Regiment (48 SAR), as well as their German counterparts from the Panzerlehrbataillon 93.

The exercise, which will involve more than 1,000 soldiers from 48 SAR and the Armour Training Institute, is conducted in two phases from March 2 to April 20, and from September 14 to October 26.

A total of 13 Leopard 2SG main battle tanks and 16 Singapore-made Bionix infantry fighting vehicles were also deployed.

Lieutenant Colonel Cai Dexian, commanding officer of 48 SAR, said: "We appreciate the opportunity to train in Germany, especially given the land constraints we face back in Singapore. 48 SAR is able to conduct realistic manoeuvre training and live-firing over a large area with the SAF's Leopard 2SG main battle tanks, which we would be unable to do at home.

"Our training in Germany has provided invaluable training opportunities for our servicemen."

Both countries signed a Defence Cooperation Agreement in September 2005 to formalise defence interactions, and interact frequently through high-level visits, military exchanges and technology collaboration.

The SAF conducts overseas training in more than a dozen countries, including the United States, Thailand and Indonesia.

xueqiang@sph.com.sg