Cacti travels to Singapore

| October 24, 2014 | 0 Comments
A Cacti warrior gets a hand adjusting his weapon before engaging 100-meter targets with a Singapore Assault Rifle – 21st Century. The 2-35th Inf. Regt. Soldiers were familiarized with the SAR 21 at the Singapore Murai Urban Training Facility, Oct. 7.

A Cacti warrior gets a hand adjusting his weapon before engaging 100-meter targets with a Singapore Assault Rifle – 21st Century. The 2-35th Inf. Regt. Soldiers were familiarized with the SAR 21 at the Singapore Murai Urban Training Facility, Oct. 7.

Staff Sgt. Matthew Ryan
25th Infantry Division

 

SINGAPORE — As a multinational force emerged from the thick, dense forest, they encountered enemy fire from nearby buildings.

The force returned fire as a Singapore Army squad, supported by American forces, rushed to the nearest building to gain a foothold.

Soldiers with the 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, “Cacti,” 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, and 6th Singapore Division forces entered and cleared buildings inside the mock urban city, here.

Tropic Lightning Soldiers were sponsored by the Singapore Army for physical fitness and urban training called the Murai Urban Training Exchange.

“This is a follow on of Tiger Balm 2014 exercises, to expand our interoperability between our nations, and building partnership and connections. This is the first time anyone from the 25th ID has done this type of exchange in Singapore,” said Capt. Adam Novak, commander, Company A, 2-35th Inf. Regt.

“The first week was us going through their individual physical proficiency test, their vocational obstacle course and standardized obstacle course,” he continued, “and we had an eight-man team compete in their Cobra Challenge.”

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The Singapore fitness test varies slightly when compared to the U.S. Army’s physical fitness test: Their fitness test includes pull-ups, shuttle sprints, standing broad jump, sit-ups and a 2.4 km run.

Cobra Challenge commemorates the 6th Singapore Division “Cobras’” birthday, Oct. 1, which it shares with the 25th ID. The Cacti Soldiers won the challenge with their team of seven males and one female.

“Five hundred push-ups, followed by 10 300-meter sprints, carrying a dummy 155 mortar round, 600 sit-ups, and finished by 12 300-meter tire pulls,” said Staff Sgt. Nicholas Hammer, squad leader, 2-35th Inf. Regt. “It smoked all of us. It was a great culture sharing experience and a chance to see what type of physical fitness the Singapore soldiers conduct.”

The second week consisted of military training exchanges, to include an indoor shooting range for familiarization with the Singapore assault rifle-21st century (SAR 21), close-quarter battle classes, and a massive urban clearing operation at the Singapore Murai Urban Training Facility.

Cacti Soldiers who fired the SAR 21 received immediate feedback through the use of a computer system that allows shooters to see exactly where they were hitting, or missing, on the 100-meter targets.

After the range, Singaporean soldiers gave classes on how they conduct room and building clearing, and they displayed their equipment. It was also a chance for the instructors to ask Tropic Lightning Soldiers some questions on how they cleared buildings.

“It was great to share knowledge and experiences during these close-quarters battle classes before we conducted the tactical urban mission. It was nice to see their specialty equipment, like their key hole video system and the remote video system you can throw into a room or hallway,” said Hammer.

The final event was the Murai Urban Training Exchange in which a combined platoon, led by Cacti leadership, conducted a raid on a mock city. The final event tested the Cacti on their ability to plan, assess and lead two different forces with different procedures and tactics.

“It was fun and exciting,” said Pvt. Benito C. Arizmendez, 1st Platoon, 2-35th Inf. Regt. “We cleared the buildings as a team. During the urban assault, it was good to see how the Singaporeans breached doors and cleared rooms with the different size squads and even different types of weapon systems. Everyday, I was learning something new.”

“It was a highly complex urban terrain with two- and three-story buildings that both Singapore and our troops had to clear. This is what we came here for, for this type of training,” said Novak.

“This is the first platform to build onto, to share ideas and tactics with the 25th Infantry Division,” said Singapore Maj. Daryl Hoo, operations officer, Headquarters, 6th Singapore Division. “We are working together to build larger scale operations and longer engagements.

“It is important to develop partnerships among our nations as it helps provide greater security and stability in the Pacific,” he added. “We work very well together as a team, and we look forward to the next military exchange between the two divisions.”

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Category: Deployed Forces, News

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