AMOY QUEE CAMP, Singapore - Soldiers from the U.S. and Singapore armies keep jungle tactics fresh as they train together during a jungle familiarization battle course near Amoy Quee Camp, Singapore, July 18, 2013.
The exercise is known as Lighting Strike. It is annual U.S. Army Pacific event held in conjunction with USARPAC’s sponsored exercise Tiger Balm. Both exercises are designed to promote regional security and interoperability between nations. Participating armies of Lightning Strike used the opportunity to introduce one another to their respective tactical operating procedures and share experiences.
Soldiers from 2nd Infantry Division Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., joined their Singaporean counterparts from 2nd Battalion, Singapore Infantry Regiment in a series of direct fire simulations where both parties shadowed each other to compare infantry drills. The exercise was a first for the Washington soldiers, as well as a first taste of jungle tactics training for many of them.
In addition to jungle patrol tactics, the exercise also incorporated mock casualty scenarios to develop a more realistic training environment.
“It has been humbling to see the men’s infantry confidence clash with our lack of skill in this kind of environment,” said 1st Lt. Daniel Shear, a platoon leader with 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division.
Shear explained that this experience and the training provided by his Singaporean counterparts have allowed his men to quickly adapt to this new environment with success. He believes exercises like this expand his usual thought processes and give him confidence as a leader.
The Singapore army played the role of both friendly and enemy forces in the exercise and seemed to become absorbed into the surrounding vegetation due to their localized camouflage equipment. Factors like these enhanced the training experience and raised the importance for the soldiers to maintain heightened senses and communication at all times.
U.S. soldiers were not the only ones that were introduced to new ideas. Troops from Charlie Company, Singapore Infantry Regiment watched closely as the U.S. soldiers reacted to the scenario.
“We were very impressed to see how the U.S. Army operates their drills and tactics with such aggression and proficient command and control,” said 2nd Lt. Muhammad Ashraf Yusoff, the platoon commander of 9th Platoon, 2nd Battalion, Singapore Infantry Regiment.
Yusoff said the Singaporeans are inspired by their U.S. counterpart’s vast experience fighting all around the world and have learned a lot from them.
Both Shear and Yusoff said they feel their capabilities as leaders are improving through the incorporation of lessons learned from their foreign counterparts. These lessons, along with those learned in Iraq and Afghanistan, help keep our modern Army tactics ready for a variety of environments.