News: Singapore fun run brings two armies together
Story by Staff Sgt. Justin A. Naylor
AMOY QUEE CAMP, Singapore - With the sights and sounds of downtown Singapore as their backdrop, Singapore armed forces and U.S. soldiers came together for a run in the sun, July 19.
The run was to celebrate the 51st anniversary of 2nd Battalion, Singapore Infantry Regiment, and the U.S. soldiers there were from 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, who are in Singapore supporting Exercise Lightning Strike, a U.S. Army Pacific sponsored event that partners Singaporean and U.S. soldiers.
For the U.S. soldiers, the run was a chance to share in the history of the unit that they’ve spent the last week training with.
“We got to share in the very special 51st anniversary of this regiment,” said Spc. Andy Angeles, a New York native and team leader with B Company, 4-23 Inf.
The 2nd Bn., SIR, was formed before Singapore had gained total independence and is one of the only SAF units to have seen combat, which was during the Indonesian-Malaysian Confrontation of the early 1960s. The unit, which is primarily comprised of infantrymen, is tasked with defending its home nation.
The two-mile run took the soldiers through the Singapore bay area where they could see many of Singapore’s key landmarks along with a nice view of the ocean.
“It showcased some of the sights of Singapore,” said 1st Sgt. Edmund Kwan, a platoon sergeant with C Company, 2nd Bn., SIR. “The U.S. soldiers got to see what the Singapore army is trained to defend.”
For some of the soldiers, the familiar sights of a big city reminded them of home.
“It’s like a small portion of Central Park,” said Angeles. “That’s what I’m used to seeing, skyscrapers and whatnot.”
The U.S. soldiers have spent much of their time in Singapore training with their SAF counterparts, making this a welcome change.
“We can’t focus too much on training,” Kwan said. “We have to have fun together.”
While the two countries might be worlds apart, soldiers on both sides have already found common ground and begun making friends.
“They’re a lot like us,” Angeles said of the SAF soldiers he has worked with.
The SAF and U.S. soldiers will spend the next week training together and sharing military tactics and experiences, which will culminate in a three-day field training exercise in the jungles of Singapore.