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U.S. Marines, Singaporean Armed Forces strengthen bonds during Valiant Mark

11 Oct 2016 | Cpl. Levi Schultz Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms

U.S. Marines with Company C, 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, and soldiers with the Singapore Armed Forces exchanged techniques and tactics during platoon-level training at Range 410A aboard the Combat Center, Oct. 4-5, 2016, as part of Exercise Valiant Mark 2016.

“We are out here for the 25th anniversary of Exercise Valiant Mark, which is a military-to-military tactical mission exercise,” said Maj.

Jeremiah Jaykumar, operations officer, Singaporean Armed Forces. “We host the U.S. Marine Corps one year and they host us one year. Essentially, it is a reflection of the very good diplomatic ties that Singapore has enjoyed with the U.S. for the last 50 years.”

The exercise is one of the many hosted aboard the installation that promote the operational force readiness of not only the Marine Corps but also its coalition partners. For the Singaporean Armed Forces, Valiant Mark provided an opportunity to test current tactics, techniques and procedures in a distinct environment.

“Some of the benefits that we reap during Valiant Mark at the operational level allow us to understand the concept of operations of the U.S. Marines and speak the same language,” Jaykumar said. “At the same time on the troops’ levels, to understand the [tactics, techniques and procedures] the Marines utilize in order to operate in this kind of environment.”

During the training on Range 410A, Co. C set the pace by conducting the first live-fire assault. Each of the company’s platoons then paired up with a Singaporean platoon prior to conducting their own assault on the range.

“It mutually benefits both forces because it’s a chance for us to practice working alongside another force and to learn about their culture,” said Capt. John Strange, company commander, Co. C, 1/7. “They come from a very different environment and their training and tactical perspective reflects that. It’s a great opportunity for us to exchange ideas and to work with a force we might work with in the future.”

During their respective drills, each platoon shared tactical knowledge and each learned about the contrasts and similarities in culture.
“You look around and see across the board our Marines and their soldiers going over tactical and technical aspects and getting the cross-cultural understanding,” Strange said. “While there are many differences, many things remain inherently similar.”

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Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms