By Staff Sgt. Michael ArmstrongMay 30, 2018
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Washington - More than 280 military personnel from the U.S. and Singapore trained together to enhance interoperability in urban operations during Exercise Lightning Strike 18 here, April 16 through 24.
Soldiers assigned to 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, and 2nd Singapore Infantry Regiment, participated in the 22nd iteration of the annual exercise between the two nations.
"Over the last nine days Soldiers of 4-23 and 2nd Singapore Infantry Division participated in individual and collective tasks," said Col. Jay Miseli, commander, 2-2 SBCT. "They demonstrated our confidence, capability and interoperability as allies, who are ready to fight in a wide variety of contingencies."
This iteration featured complex operational scenarios strengthening interoperability between the two units. Time was spent learning how both militaries employ their different tactics, techniques, and procedures on the battlefield.
The exercise consisted of a series of events, including operating Stryker Assault Vehicles, an integrated battalion assault, and military operations in urban terrain.
JBLM's world class training facilities enabled the Soldiers to work as a cohesive team and tested their knowledge, skills, and abilities to fight, as combined U.S.-Singapore squads.
"Our armies have worked together and interacted in multiple exercises amidst the uncertain climate in the Asia-Pacific," said Maj. Shah Rizan, 2nd SIR. "We welcome the American presence in the region because it is crucial to the peace and stability of the Asia-Pacific, which is a vital interest to both our countries."
Lightning Strike was more than just training on military techniques. For the Soldiers involved it was a chance to learn about one another's culture.
"By training side-by-side, I think it's fair to say that both sides had ample chance to learn from each other," said Pvt. Muhammad Hameem, 2nd SIR. "I know many of us here have probably exchanged patches and badges, but the intangible experiences, ideas and lessons that we have exchanged go way beyond that."
Although the eight days of training came and went, the Soldiers found time to make lasting connections between the two forces.
"Through this rich exchange of ideas and experiences, we came to appreciate better our similarities and differences, which then helps us to learn from one another's strengths and weaknesses," Hameem added.