Singapore and US armies share expertise on handling improvised explosives, in Hawaii exercise

SAF and US Army soldiers observing their targets in support of an infantry assault during a live-fire exercise at Exercise Tiger Balm 2018.
SAF and US Army soldiers observing their targets in support of an infantry assault during a live-fire exercise at Exercise Tiger Balm 2018.PHOTO: MINDEF

SINGAPORE - The Singapore and US armies have, for the first time, shared expertise on handling Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) during an annual bilateral exercise in Hawaii which ended on Sunday (May 27) afternoon.

Started in 1981, Exercise Tiger Balm is the longest-running exercise between the two militaries.

This year's edition, which began on May 15, involved 113 personnel from the 6th Singapore Division (6 Div) and 10th Singapore Infantry Brigade and 180 American servicemen from from the 25th Infantry Division (25 ID), 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team and 29th Infantry Brigade Combat Team.

The exercise involved live-firing and joint strike operations. In another first, the Singapore army's Strike Observer Mission Team also directed the US army's Apache attack helicopters during the exercise. Both armies shared their expertise on dealing with IEDs, including detecting and neutralising them.

Commander of 6 Div Colonel Leung Shing Tai officiated at the closing ceremony on Sunday, alongside Major General Ronald R. Clark, Commanding General of 25 ID, United States Army Pacific.

"The conduct of these joint training exercises in Hawaii provided both armies the opportunity to train together in a realistic environment and to enhance the inter-operability between both armies," Singapore's Ministry of Defence said in a press release.

It added that the exercise was "a testament to the excellent and long-standing defence ties between both armed forces".