Thursday, 15 May 2008

Army and Navy colleagues in Exercise Joint Warrior

Ministry of Defence | Defence News | Training and Adventure
A humanitarian scenario being thrown at the British troops in this training exercise, good for preparing for real operations. The SAF can learn by conducting more of such exercises...
3 Rifles are conducting exercises based around a NEO (Non-Combatant Evacuation Operation) scenario which sees the safe extraction of a vulnerable population from a potentially dangerous environment.

This is an operation that 3 Rifles are all too familiar with, having conducted one for real whilst they were at high readiness as the Army's 'Spearhead' in 2006, when the British Community in Lebanon were safely evacuated by ship to Cyprus and home to the UK. Coincidentally HMS Bulwark also took part in that operation.

The 'landward' training commenced early on Monday 28 April 2008 with a beach landing and 20 km insertion march along the roads and fields (with the local landowners' permission of course), followed by the NEO operation to evacuate a role-playing civilian population from a mock hostile presence.
By the way, photos of the exercise (including the one above) are available at the Rifles website. A newspaper report, linked via the website, also provides more insight.
Up until January, 3RIFLES (based in Edinburgh), was to conduct a six-week training exercise in Kenya called Exercise GRAND PRIX.

Unfortunately, given the tense political situation in Kenya at the time, the decision was taken to cancel the exercise. So it was back to the drawing board to try to create an equally challenging and interesting exercise a bit closer to home.
[EDIT] 21st May 2008
Good news. Looks like we are now also learning how to support humanitarian operations. Just noticed that Singapore's involvement in Cobra Gold has been stepped up for this year.
For the first time, a 35-man SAF team will also be participating in the field training exercise phase that simulates security operations in support of Humanitarian and Disaster Relief efforts. The SAF's participation in this phase, which previously involved only the US and Thai armed forces, marks a significant milestone in Singapore's involvement in the Exercise Cobra Gold series.
The above text from this MINDEF press release.

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