S'pore & Indonesia armies conduct annual bilateral exercise in-person after holding it virtually in 2020

Participants strictly abided by Covid-19 safety rules.

Faris Alfiq | November 18, 2021, 11:34 PM

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The Singapore Army and the Indonesia Army (TNI-AD) have successfully conducted the 33rd edition of Exercise Safkar Indopura, which took place from Nov. 11 to 18 in Singapore.

According to a statement by the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) on Nov. 18, the last time the exercise was held in-person was in 2019.

The 2020 edition of Exercise Safkar Indopura took place virtually, Mindef added.

According to Mindef, Exercise Safkar Indopura was first conducted in 1989, underscoring the close and longstanding defence relations between Singapore and Indonesia.

Commander for 3rd Singapore Division, Brigadier-General (BG) Goh Pei Ming and TNI-AD Commander Military Area Command III (KODAM III) Major-General Agus Subiyanto co-officiated the closing ceremony of the flagship bilateral exercise on Thursday (Nov. 18).

Opportunity for both armies to strengthen interpersonal bonds

Mindef said that troops from the Headquarters 3rd Singapore Infantry Brigade and the 5th Battalion, Singapore Infantry Regiment from the Singapore Army, as well as TNI-AD troops from the 15th Infantry Brigade, KODAM III took part in this year's exercise.

The exercise provided an opportunity for both armies to "strengthen interpersonal bonds and deepen mutual understanding" through a series of professional exchanges, live-firing and urban operations tactical drills, Mindef added.

The 33rd edition of Exercise Safkar Indopura culminated with a field training exercise at the Murai Urban Training Facility on the morning of Nov. 18, with troops from both armies executing a combined company-level urban assault.

Participants from both armies were fully vaccinated and strictly abided by Covid-19 Safe Management Measures (SMM) such as rostered routine testing and cohorting by functional groups in order to enable the safe conduct of the exercise, Mindef added.

Exercise fostered mutual understanding and friendship: BG Goh

Speaking at the closing ceremony, Goh highlighted that the exercise contributed to the fostering of mutual understanding and friendship between both armies.

"Exercise Safkar Indopura has seen the participation of generations of SAF and TNI-AD key leadership, officers, specialists and soldiers, and the mutual trust and close friendships we have built through the years have contributed to the deep and longstanding defence relationship that our two armies enjoy," Goh said.

He added that with the Covid-19 situation, "necessary precautions were made by implementing stringent and effective SMMs to achieve a safe and meaningful exercise".

Since 1989, both Singapore and Indonesia have been engaging in a wide range of bilateral activities, including exercises, visits, professional exchanges and the cross-attendance of courses.

These interactions have enhanced the interoperability and strong people-to-people ties between the two armed forces, Mindef added.

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Top image via Mindef