39th Annual Tiger Balm exercise

Posted on Jul 18, 2019 in In The News

117th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment (Hawaii)
Story by Spc. Matthew Foster and Sgt. 1st Class Theresa Gualdarama
Thursday, July 18, 2019
Celebrating its 39th year, Tiger Balm is the longest running bilateral exercise between U.S. Army Pacific and the Singapore Armed Forces that occurred on 8-18 July 2019 in the city of Mandai, Singapore. The exercise promotes combat readiness, interoperability, and maintaining regional stability and security.

“We are gathered here once again to test the mettle of both the nation’s Soldiers and leaders in a crucible of battle in both the virtual command post environment and live troop venue, and to provide a realistic struggle against a challenging formidable enemy,” said Brig. Gen. Arthur J. Logan, Hawaii National Guard Adjutant General during the opening ceremony for Tiger Balm 2019.

Since 1981, this event has enabled Soldiers from the U.S. and Singapore to work side by side exchanging tactics, techniques, procedures, and building on lessons learned from previous iterations during this regionally significant training exercise.

“The historical relevance of the construct of this brigade level bilateral exercise is that it is the longest running between both of our two nations,” said Logan.

This year, participants enriched more than just the training aspect of the exercise. They also continued to nurture the professional relationships that’s been forged over the years between the United States and Singapore Armies.

“As a small country with an open economy, Singapore understands intuitively the importance of building constructive relationships with other nations,” said Brig. General Lee Yi-Jin, Commander of 6th Division, Singapore Armed Forces. “The Singapore Army likewise attaches a high value to the friendships that we share with other militaries, but the relationship we have with the U.S. Army is special, it really is.”

Tiger Balm continues to evolve in order to counter the increasing complexities and challenges of an uncertain world and continues to fortify its forces and relationships.

The Brigade-level Command Post Exercise (CPX) and Field Training Exercise (FTX) were both added to this year’s operations with the intent to strengthen capabilities. The CPX utilized live virtual and constructive training to enhance realism. The sharing of numerous subject matter expert exchanges, layered on new topics such as multi-domain operations, cyber and electromagnetic activities.

“We share many common values to start with, but most importantly both sides have demonstrated a commitment to take a very good relationship, and to grow it and nurture it, and add new layers of professional substance, bonded together by a friendship that will stand the test of time,” said Logan.

The FTX included Apache helicopter air support, “storm teams” and Counter-Improvised Explosive Device (C-IED) teams for the culminating event.

“It is truly a testament to the agility of our Soldiers that they can come together with dissimilar backgrounds, levels of experience, to conduct decisive operations against a determined enemy,” said Logan.

Exercise participants emerged with an enhanced shared situational understanding of the current operational environment.

“Exercise Tiger Balm 2020 will be held in Hawaii will mark the 40th anniversary of this exercise and serve as a milestone for both our nations,” said Logan.