Singapore Soldiers visit, exchange information with 45th Soldiers
May 6, 2009
- "This is a chance for [the Singapore Soldiers] to see a piece of equipment they're familiar with used in a different role in our country."
- "I thought [the decontamination demonstration] was great."
- "It was an honor for them to ask [the 71st] to be a part of this."
- "This is the first time we have worked with USARPAC and we have a long way to go."
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS - Members of the Singapore Army visited Soldiers of the 71st Chemical Company, 45th Sustainment Brigade April 28 here to see the capabilities of their equipment.
A five-Soldier team from Singapore spent the day viewing a decontamination training demonstration of the M903A1 Fox vehicles and sat in on Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Unmanned Ground Reconnaissance Vehicle (CUGV) robot training. The CUGV is a new piece of equipment for the 71st. Both pieces of equipment are designed to keep Soldiers safe while testing a given area for hazardous materials.
While the CUGV equipment may be new for the Soldiers of the 71st, the Singapore Army owns and operates the equipment already. While the Singapore Army uses it for explosive ordinance detonation capabilities, U.S. Soldiers use the CUGV for hazardous material sensing missions.
"This is a chance for [the Singapore Soldiers] to see a piece of equipment they're familiar with used in a different role in our country," said Lt. Col. John Riley, the Chemical Radiological Biological Nuclear and Explosives Division chief with U.S. Army Pacific Command (USARPAC).
The exchange of information was another benefit of the visit.
"The most important aspect [of the Singapore Army's visit] is the opportunity for U.S. Army Pacific Command to learn the capabilities they have, and we have a lot we can share with them as well," said Riley. "As a regional partner, we should know about Singapore's capabilities."
In addition to the demonstration, Soldiers of the 71st explained the capabilities of the "Fox" and gave the Singapore Soldiers a chance to ride in them.
"I thought [the decontamination demonstration] was great," said Col. Heok Chye Lee, commander of the Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear and Explosive Defense Group in the Singapore Army.
Although the Fox vehicle is too big for their terrain, Lee said his Army is interested in acquiring something smaller for Singapore's use.
The troops from Singapore were excited about the chance to view the decontamination training as were the Soldiers who conducted the demonstration.
"It was an honor for them to ask [the 71st] to be a part of this," said 1st Sgt. Thomas Hendon, 71st Chemical Company.
Currently, plans are in the works for a continuing relationship between the armies. Singapore has invited USARPAC Soldiers to Singapore in December for an international CBRN conference, and members of the Singapore Army have plans to come back to Hawaii in September to participate in an Explosive Ordnance Disposal training exercise.
"This is the first time we have worked with USARPAC and we have a long way to go. We can't bring everything here, so it would be nice for U.S. Soldiers to visit us as well," said Lee. "We always look forward to professional exchanges."