Operation Daring Soldier

As a U.S. Air Force F-16 circled above, searching for targets, on the ground members of the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) told the plane where to drop its ordinance.

It was part of a joint exercise between the U.S. and Singapore called Operation Daring Warrior.

"This provides a great opportunity to work on our inner-operability with a very important partner in the Pacific Region," said Brigadier General Brian McKiernan, the Commandant of Fort Sill.

For the last four years, the SAF has been coming to Fort Sill, working side by side with American Forces.

Colonel Terry Siow, the SAF's Commanding Officer on site, said because of his nation's small size, his soldiers don't get an opportunity to hold live-fire exercises.

"Nothing beats coming out here, to exercise with the U.S. soldiers in an operational context and realistic environment," said Colonel Siow.

In addition to calling in air-strikes from above, the SAF also practiced firing rockets from their High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS).

The launchers are just like the ones American's use, which means the SAF and U.S. Army can work together in future combat engagements with ease.

"what I saw was a high degree of confidence that comes with competence," explained General McKiernan,"and so I would tell you it's been a great training opportunity for both of our armed forces."

For many of the members of the SAF at Fort sill, Tuesday was the first time they were actually able to fire a live rocket, and for those soldiers, the experience was invaluable.

"It completes our training from Singapore as we do not have the opportunity to fire live rockets in Singapore due to land constraint," said Second Sergeant Samuel Sim of the SAF, "and it's just an exhilarating feeling to see the first rocket shot, knowing that we worked so hard for it."

And with that hard work, the partnership between the U.S. and Singapore grows.

Which makes good strategic sense, as the Department of Defense shifts its focus to the Pacific Rim.
Reporter's Notes by Ryan Robertson:

In addition to training with the U.S. Army at Fort Sill, the Singapore Armed Forces are also assisting American Soldiers in Afghanistan, providing artillery and air support for troops on the ground.

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