From the Australian outback: Exercise Wallaby 2013

Report and pictures by: 
Gary Goh

These photos were taken in a training area more than four times the size of Singapore.

The Shoalwater Bay Training Area in Queensland, Australia, is the “playground” for the annual Exercise Wallaby of the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF).

It gives the SAF an opportunity to practise war drills.

This year’s exercise, broken up into three phases, involved a total of more than 5,000 soldiers.

It included integrated systems live firing, in which different military assets train and fire live munitions together.

The New Paper had an opportunity to see our troops in the final phase of the exercise in the Australian outback.

For the first time this year, there was also a component codenamed Trident, where no shots were fired.

The scenario for this six-day exercise involved the SAF providing timely humanitarian assistance to an earthquake-stricken country.

The Landing Ship Tank RSS Resolution, the biggest vessel in our navy, acted as an aid ship, receiving casualties by helicopter and dispensing equipment to the shore using its built-in dock.

The other highlight of this year’s exercise was the launch of the new Light Strike Vehicle Mk II, operated primarily by the SAF Guardsmen, an infantry unit that specialises in rapid helicopter-assisted deployment.

Apart from off-road training in these relatively small and agile vehicles, the unit also practised transporting a pair of them by Chinook helicopters onto a simulated battlefield.

This year’s Exercise Wallaby, which began on Oct 3 and will end on Saturday, marks the SAF’s 23rd year of training at Shoalwater Bay. 

Here are some photos from the exercise.

The article related to these pictures was first published in The New Paper on November 26, 2013