Singapore and Indian armies conduct joint drill in Devlali, Maharashtra

Even as India and Singapore conducted a successful silver jubilee of naval exercise SIMBEX last week, the armies of both countries are engaged in bilateral artillery exercise, Agni Warrior, in Devlali, India, from that started on November 12 and concludes tomorrow.  

Singapore Light Weight Howitzers of Singapore Armed Forces firing off in a joint live-firing with the Indian Army at Exercise Agni Warrior 2018. (Photo courtesy: Ministry of Defence, Singapore
Singapore Light Weight Howitzers of Singapore Armed Forces firing off in a joint live-firing with the Indian Army at Exercise Agni Warrior 2018. Photo courtesy: Ministry of Defence, Singapore

This year’s exercise, the eleventh in the series, involves 175 troops from the 23rd and 24th Battalions, Singapore Artillery, and 80 troops from the Indian Army.

The exercise culminated in a joint live-firing involving the Singapore Armed Forces's Singapore Light Weight Howitzer, Field Artillery Meteorological System and the Indian Army’s 155mm Field Howitzer 77B. Through the exercise, the two armies enhanced mutual understanding and interoperability and built strong professional ties.

Held in India since 2004, Exercise Agni Warrior is conducted under the ambit of the Army Bilateral Agreement. The Bilateral Agreement, renewed on 20 November 2018 at the third India-Singapore Defence Ministers Dialogue, facilitates the Singapore Army’s artillery and armour training in India and increased interactions between both armies.

Soldiers from the Singapore Army interacting with the chief artillery instructor of the Indian Army in an informal exchange.  (Photo courtesy: Ministry of Defence, Singapore
Soldiers from the Singapore Army interacting with the chief artillery instructor of the Indian Army in an informal exchange. Photo courtesy: Ministry of Defence, Singapore

The Ministry in a statement said the renewal of the Army Bilateral Agreement is a testament to the strong and long-standing defence relationship between Singapore and India. At the armed forces level, the SAF and the Indian Armed Forces share a long history of military cooperation, with regular interaction through exercises, military exchanges, visits, courses and other professional exchanges.

Earlier, the bilateral agreement on joint army exercises was renewed on June 3, 2013 and then again this year.

It was first established on August 12, 2008. Its renewal allows the Singapore Army to train and exercise with the Indian Army in India for another five years.

Bilateral Agreement for the Conduct of Joint Army Training and Exercises was renewed on 20 November during Defence Ministers Dialogue held between Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen and Indian Defence Minister Dr. Nirmala Sitharaman at New Delhi.(Photo courtesy: Indian Ministry of Defence
Bilateral Agreement for the Conduct of Joint Army Training and Exercises was renewed on November 20 during Defence Ministers Dialogue held between Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen and Indian Defence Minister Dr. Nirmala Sitharaman at New Delhi. Photo courtesy: Indian Ministry of Defence

Apart from the Army, the Republic of Singapore Air Force and the Republic of Singapore Navy engage their Indian counterparts in joint military training and exercises annually. Besides joint military training, both defence establishments also interact regularly through high-level visits, policy dialogues, courses, seminars and other professional exchanges.

Author
Pradeep Rana
Pradeep Rana – Senior Correspondent

Pradeep Rana has worked as a journalist with news ‚Äčagencies UNI and PTI, newspapers Indian Express and The Times Of India, and television channel NHK as South Asia Correspondent. He has also worked as Media Analyst at US Embassy, and edited several magazines and a medical handbook.

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