Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Successfully Concludes Exercise Wallaby

 The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) conducting a tri-Service integrated exercise as part of Exercise Wallaby 21 (XWB21), held from 13 September to 21 October in the Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA) in Queensland, Australia (all photos : Sing Mindef)

The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) has successfully concluded Exercise Wallaby 2021. Held in the Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA) in Queensland, Australia from 13 September to 21 October, this year's exercise involved about 580 personnel as well as platforms from the Singapore Army, the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN), and the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF).

During the exercise, the SAF conducted large-scale coordinated missions to strengthen air-land-sea integration. These included live-firing by AH-64D Apache helicopters, air-drop from C-130 transport aircraft, ship-to-shore exercises, deck-landing by CH-47F Chinook helicopters and replenishment serials from RSS Endeavour, an Endurance-class Landing Ship Tank. With a land area approximately four times the size of Singapore, SWBTA allows the SAF to conduct large-scale integrated training across all three Services to exercise its range of capabilities and maintain training currency for its units.

Speaking at the end of the exercise, the Air Director of Exercise Wallaby 21, Colonel Sherman Ong said, "The vast expanse of the training area gave us the opportunity to conduct training that cannot be replicated back in Singapore. The complexity and challenges of the terrain allowed the RSAF to hone our operational competencies and conduct essential integrated training with our counterparts from the Army and the Navy. Every serviceman and woman understood the importance of the safe management measures implemented during the exercise and adhered strictly to them, which enabled us to conduct high quality training without compromise."

The SAF worked closely with the Australian Defence Force (ADF) to ensure that COVID-19 health and safety protocols were in place for the safe conduct of the exercise. Some of the safe management measures included vaccination of SAF personnel participating in the exercise, serving a restriction of movement order prior to their deployment, pre- and post- deployment swab tests, following a controlled itinerary in Australia to minimise interaction with the local populace, and abiding by Australia's prevailing health and safety measures to minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission. All participants will also be subjected to the prevailing national protocols upon their return to Singapore.The resumption of Exercise Wallaby this year, after the suspension in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is testament to the trust and cooperation between our armed forces, as well as the close and long-standing bilateral defence relations between Singapore and Australia. Inaugurated in 1990, Exercise Wallaby provides realistic and challenging training opportunities for the SAF to hone its operational competencies.The SAF and the ADF have a long history of military cooperation, with extensive interactions through bilateral and multilateral exercises, professional exchanges, cross attendance of courses and joint operational deployments. In particular, steady progress has been made in the joint development of training areas and advanced training facilities in Central and Northern Queensland under the Singapore-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.

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