The Singapore Armed Forces (Saf) and The People’s Liberation Army (Pla) have commenced Exercise Cooperation, a ten-day bilateral army exercise.

An opening ceremony was held at Jurong Camp to mark the commencement of the exercise on 27 July.

Exercise Cooperation started in 2009 in Guilin, China. This is the fourth edition of the exercise.

This year’s exercise will involve around 240 personnel from the SAF’s 3rd Singapore Division and 1st Commando Battalion, and the PLA Southern Theater Command Army (STCA) 74th Army Group.

During the exercise, participating forces will engage in tactical training such as rappelling and urban operations training.

The armies will then undertake a combined urban raid as part of the final mission exercise.

3rd Singapore Division commander brigadier-general Frederick Choo said: “Exercise Cooperation is one of the cornerstones of our strong bilateral defence ties and defence relations between our two countries.

“Besides sharing operational experiences, one key highlight of Exercise Cooperation has always been the cultural exchange that takes place between our two peoples and the deep friendships that we forge along the way.”

Singapore Ministry of Defence stated that the exercise is another example of friendly bilateral relations between the two Asian nations.

PLA STCA deputy political commissar major-general Liu Jia noted that the exercise will enable the two militaries to ‘enhance counter-terrorism capability, deepen communication, cooperation and traditional friendship’.

During a ministerial-level meeting held in May this year, Singapore and China agreed to enhance defence ties and increase bilateral engagements.

The countries are planning to conduct Exercise Maritime Cooperation involving both navies next year.