The Singapore Army and the Malaysian Army have concluded bilateral military training, Exercise Semangat Bersatu (XSB) at Lim Chu Kang Training Area in Singapore, on Nov. 23.
The closing ceremony was officiated by the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Chief of Army Major-General (MG) Melvyn Ong and the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) Chief of Army General (GEN) Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Zulkiple Bin Haji Kassim.
This year’s exercise, the 23rd edition in the series, saw the participation of around 750 troopers from the 3rd Battalion Singapore Guards and the 5th Royal Malay Regiment. The exercise, held in Singapore from 12 to 25 November 2017, included professional exchanges and culminated in a combined battalion field exercise.
At the closing ceremony, MG Ong said, “The SAF lends heavy emphasis on this exercise as we value the opportunity to interact and to exchange professional military knowledge and expertise, with our friends from the MAF. The regional security environment that we face today is full of complexities and uncertainity, and that is why we need friends.” GEN Zulkiple also added that “I believe that the most important aspect of this exercise is to foster a greater relationship between our armies despite all the challenges that we have to face. I am confident that as time goes by, the continuation of this bilateral exercise will bring us closer together as brothers in arms.”
First held in 1989, XSB underscores the warm and long-standing defence relations between Singapore and Malaysia. It provides a valuable platform for professional interactions and people-to-people interactions. The SAF and MAF interact regularly across a wide range of activities, which include bilateral exchanges, cross-exchange of courses, as well as multilateral activities under the ambit of the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting and the Five Power Defence Arrangements.
On the sidelines of the closing ceremony of XSB, both armies also concluded the Terms of Reference for new Army-to-Army Talks. From 2018, both armies will hold regular dialogues to exchange views on regional and global security developments as well as look into further enhance defence cooperation.
Singapore Ministry of Defence (MINDEF)