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Live-Fire Exercise Puts US-Singapore Military Cooperation into Focus

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Live-Fire Exercise Puts US-Singapore Military Cooperation into Focus

The drills spotlighted the ongoing defense collaboration between the two countries.

Live-Fire Exercise Puts US-Singapore Military Cooperation into Focus

A previous photo from the renewal of the US-Singapore military facilities agreement.

Credit: MINDEF Singapore

Over the weekend, the United States and Singapore concluded the latest iteration of Exercise Daring Warrior (XDW). The exercise spotlighted some of the ongoing defense collaboration at play between the two countries amid wider domestic and regional developments.

The United States and Singapore, which have long viewed each other as strategic partners, have a relationship that extends into the security realm. The United States is a key supplier of defense technology and facilities for military training for Singapore and the city-state is a valuable regional partner that across a range of issues from counterterrorism to maritime security while also hosting a U.S. Navy logistics command unit that coordinates regional operations.

That has continued on into 2019 as well. Apart from the usual engagements, both sides have been attempting to make new inroads and also further develop the structure of their overall defense relationship through various steps as well including new inroads in their existing exercises as well as the renewal of a military facilities agreement.

On the exercise front, among the drills both sides hold on a regular basis is Exercise Daring Warrior (XDW). The exercise was first conducted back in 2010. The last iteration, held in October in the United States, involved approximately 150 SAF personnel and 70 personnel for the U.S. Army.

Over the past weekend, the defense aspect of the relationship was in the spotlight again with the conclusion of this year’s Exercise Daring Warrior. On November 23, both countries concluded the eighth iteration of the exercise which was held in Fort Sill, Oklahoma, in the United States.

Per Singapore’s defense ministry (MINDEF), the exercise, which had begun on November 4, involved approximately 180 Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and U.S. Army personnel. And it included a series of engagements, including a combined live-firing by the Singapore Army and the U.S. Army featuring the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) operated by the 23rd Battalion, Singapore Artillery and the U.S. Army 1-14 Field Artillery Battalion.

Few additional specifics were disclosed about the exercise. But per MINDEF, Chief Artillery Officer Adrian Teng, who visited the exercise, noted that SAF soldiers had adapted well to the harsh weather and challenging terrain during the exercise, and that Exercise Daring Warrior had provided an opportunity for Singapore personnel to interact with U.S. counterparts and to learn from experiences in military tactics and the operation of the HIMARS platform.