The Singapore Army and the Indonesian Army (TNI-AD) commemorated 50 years of bilateral relations between Singapore and Indonesia ('RISING50') at the closing ceremony of Exercise Safkar Indopura, the flagship exercise between the two armies, earlier this afternoon. Co-officiated by Chief of Army Major-General (MG) Melvyn Ong and TNI-AD Chief of Staff General (GEN) Mulyono, the closing ceremony saw soldiers from the two armies forming the number "50" on parade.

This year's exercise, the 29th in the series, was conducted in Singapore from 13 to 24 November 2017, during which Leopard 2SG Main Battle Tanks jointly operated by soldiers from both armies also made their debut. The 12-day exercise provided opportunities for both armies to build stronger bonds and deepen mutual understanding through a series of professional exchanges that encompassed urban operations training, live-firing, a planning exercise, and the conduct of a combined battalion field exercise. During his closing address, MG Ong said that the exercise formed the cornerstone of the interactions between the Singapore Army and TNI-AD, adding that the exercise provided a platform for generations of leaders from both countries to engage, interact and develop long-lasting friendships. Agreeing, GEN Mulyono noted that the exercise was not only a platform to improve the skills and capabilities of soldiers, but also a means to enhance the cooperation and friendship between the two armies.

About 300 personnel from Headquarters 3rd Singapore Infantry Brigade (3 SIB), 6th Battalion, Singapore Infantry Regiment (6 SIR), and 48th Battalion, Singapore Armoured Regiment (48 SAR), together with 170 personnel from the TNI-AD's 15th Infantry Brigade (Brigif-15/ KUJANG II), 312th Infantry Battalion (YONIF-312/KH), and 1st Armour Battalion (YONKAV-1/KOSTRAD) participated in this year's exercise.

First conducted in 1989, Exercise Safkar Indopura, which is conducted annually, underscores the close and long-standing defence relations between Singapore and Indonesia. In addition to bilateral exercises, both armies also engage in a wide range of bilateral activities to foster mutual understanding and enhance interoperability. These include reciprocal visits, professional interactions, and cross-attendance of military courses.