Singapore and Aussies Practice Amphibious Landings in Joint Exercise


2014-12-12  Recently, the Singaporean and Australian forces exercised joint amphibious landings.

The two countries have a close defense working relationship and as the Aussies are adding new amphibious capabilities working with regional neighbors to enhance security makes a great deal of sense.

The video in this story was shot on 11/8/14 and released by the Australian Ministry of Defense on 11/18/14 and shows the landings.

According to the Australian Ministry of Defense:

Chief of Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin, AC, along with senior defence and ministerial representatives from both Australia and Singapore were given a demonstration of the amphibious capabilities being used throughout Exercise Trident on Saturday the 8th of November 2014.

Australian Army soldiers from the 7th Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment practiced amphibious and offensive operations alongside their Singapore Armed Forces counterparts during the exercise, which was held in Shoalwater Bay, Queensland.

The Republic of Singapore Navy’s Landing Ship Tank (LST) RSS Persistence hosted the soldiers for two nights, before the land forces went ashore to conduct the assault phase of the exercise and share tactics, techniques and procedures within the Australian and Singapore defense forces.

Exercise Trident is a bilateral exercise involving elements of the Singapore Armed Forces and the Australian Defence Force, which provides opportunities for the exchange of subject matter expertise by the armed forces of both nations.

The exercise is conducted within the Defence International Engagement Plan, which is focused on building closer relationships between Australia and its regional neighbors.

And the following story posted by the Singapore Ministry Defence on 11/8/14 provides their perspective:

Troops from the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and Australian Defence Force (ADF) would have secured a beachfront, marched inland and taken an objective together.

It was a tightly-integrated, orchestral-like maneuver, starting with an amphibious landing by the Republic of Singapore Navy’s (RSN’s) Landing Ship Tank RSS Persistence.  

As the boots hit the beach, two Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) AH-64D Apache attack helicopters flew overhead.

This is the first time that combat troops from both countries have conducted joint drills at Exercise Trident, one of the components of the two-month long Exercise Wallaby this year.

Exercise Trident alone involves more than 750 SAF personnel and 43 ADF troops. The larger Exercise Wallaby sees participation from more than 5,000 SAF personnel and over 400 SAF assets.

Second Minister for Defence Chan Chun Sing and Australian Assistant Minister for Defence Stuart Robert visited the troops on 8 Nov. Said Mr Chan: “We are very thankful to the Australian authorities for giving us this opportunity to train in Shoal Water Bay.”

He added: “This year we have many more ADF personnel joining us in the combined operations. Both sides have learnt from each other, and that (provides) a platform for us to build interoperability between the two armed forces.”

Mr Robert spoke well of the SAF, saying: “The SAF is a well-trained, disciplined, quite amazing fighting force. Watching some of the exercises they have done today, I continue to be amazed and impressed to see how well it is going.”

“The fact that we can be here side-by-side training together… speaks volumes about where our nations are going.”

“The opportunity for Australia and Singapore to grow close as nations, economically and militarily, is substantial,” added Mr Robert.

The SAF soldiers are exercising with troops from the 7th Royal Australian Regiment, based in Adelaide.

Captain Karina Cann, who is trained as a military logistician, and is an exercise planner from the Australian Army, said: “The organisation and how information gets passed from the planners to the troops on the ground is brilliant. The SAF guys just get up and do the work and get it all done, no matter how tired they are.”

For the combat troops on the ground, Exercise Wallaby presents a valuable opportunity to learn. “I’m looking forward to seeing how the Australians operate and how we can learn from them,” said Staff Sergeant Muhammad Ashik, a Platoon Sergeant from the Battalion Task Force for Exercise Trident.

Said Air Force Engineer 3rd Sergeant Richard Charlie: “Operating in Australia brings several challenges. We work in the open when out in the SWBTA (Shoal Water Bay Training Area) and at night, there is less light so it’s harder to do our servicing (of aircraft).”

“But it’s an enriching experience because we get to practise more things, such as weapon-loading, which we don’t do so much of back in Singapore.”

Exercise planners, too, had a good work-out. Working with his counterparts from the Army and Air Force, Captain (CPT) Kody Toh had to plan the conduct of Exercise Trident.

“One of the key things I’ve learnt here is to adapt to changes. In such a large exercise, changes are inevitable, and we have to re-work our plans to make sure that all three Services can meet their training requirements,” said CPT Toh.

“SWBTA is one of the few places where we can have a tri-Service exercise, and it’s very rewarding to see everything come together,” said CPT Toh, one of the exercise planners from the RSN.

The SAF and the ADF share a long history of military cooperation, with extensive interactions that include bilateral and multilateral exercises, mutual visits and professional exchanges. Both countries are part of the Five Power Defence Arrangements.

“We’ve had shared training obligations for decades and Singapore is one of Australia’s closest friends in the region,” said Mr Robert.

For a recent piece on Australia building out its amphibious capabilities see the following: