The Singapore Armed Force’s largest training activity has just wrapped up with over 4 000 personnel and 400 platforms from the Singapore Army and Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) training as part of Exercise Wallaby 2017. This is the 27th time Exercise has taken place and was held in three phases once again in the Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA), North of Rockhampton.
Exercise Wallaby 2017 spanned six weeks, and is to be followed by a bilateral Exercise Matilda involving Australia and Singapore personnel.
The Shoalwater Bay Training Area is an ideal training ground for the Singaporeans as it is about four-times the size of Singapore and therefore allows the Army and Air Force to complete manoeuvres that they are not able to do in Singapore. For instance, the RSAF can practice low-level military flights where planes and helicopters can fly under 500ft over an adjacent and uninhabited navigation area around eight times the size of Singapore.
However, a review of the Exercise was undertaken this year following the tragic death of 3rd Sergeant (3SG) Chan Hiang Cheng Gavin, 21, who died when his Bionix armoured vehicle rolled at Shoalwater Bay last month.
Meanwhile, ongoing development of training infrastructure and an expansion of the Shoalwater Bay Training Area, as well as training areas near Townsville, looks set to increase the capacity of future instalments of Exercise Wallaby to possibly see as many as 14 000 personnel participate over 18 weeks of training in a A$2.25 billion deal between Australia and Singapore.
Sincere thanks to Rockhampton photographer Russell Prothero who has kindly share with us his fantastic photos that he captured during a recent embed with the Singapore Armed Forces withing the Shoalwater Bay Training Area during Exercise Wallaby 2017.
All photos taken by Russell Prothero ©