Members of the command teams from the U.S. and Singapore armies together during the opening ceremony of Tiger Balm 18 at the 298th Regiment, Multi-Functional Training Unit (MFTU), Regional Training Institute (RTI), Waimanalo, Hawaii, on May 14, 2018. Tiger Balm is an annual bilateral military exercise designed to enhance the professional relationship, combat readiness, and interoperability between the US and Singapore, and fulfill and demonstrate regional security partnership and resolve. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Armando Limon)
WAIMANALO, Hawaii -- U.S. and Singapore armies kicked off Tiger Balm 18, an annual bilateral exercise, at the 298th Regiment, Multi-Functional Training Unit (MFTU), Regional Training Institute (RTI), here, on May 14, 2018.
The participating Singapore unit in Tiger Balm 18 is the 10th Singapore Infantry Brigade, 6th Singapore Infantry Division.
U.S. Army participants include 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division; the 29th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Hawaii Army National Guard; 426th Civil Affairs Battalion, California Army National Guard, and an element of AH-64E Apache helicopters from the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, 25ID.
Col. Trevor J. Walker, New Zealand Defence Force and division deputy commander-interoperability, 25th Infantry Division gave the opening remarks for the ceremony.
"This ceremony starts the next chapter in the book on the great partnership between the U.S. and Singapore," Walker said. "I know the hard work each of our staffs put in will make this year's exercise one of growth that will further build the bonds of partnership and friendship."
He stated this was the 38th iteration of this long lasting bilateral exercise.
"As long-term partners in the region, Tiger Balm affords the U.S. Army the opportunity to benefit and learn from the Singaporean Army through the exchange of unique tactics, techniques, procedures and lessons learned," he said.
Col. Teo Wee Hong, chief of staff, 6th Division, Singapore Army, gave remarks for his service during the ceremony.
"It is an honor for me to lead the exercise participants from the 6th Singapore Division to exercise with our twinning partner, 25th Infantry Division and the Hawaii National Guard for this year's edition of exercise Tiger Balm," Hong said. "On behalf of the Singapore Army, I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation to the 25th Infantry Division for hosting us in the beautiful, sunny island of Hawaii."
He stated Tiger Balm was the longest standing bilateral exercises in the Singapore Armed Force's history.
"It is a testament to our lasting friendship and strong partnership," he said. "Through the partnership of exchanges, both armies are given the opportunity to learn from each other, gaining invaluable training experiences, and insightful professional and cultural knowledge."
"Once again, I would like to thank 25th Infantry Division and the Hawaii National Guard for your kind hospitality," he said. "I wish all of a purposeful and successful exercise. With that, I hereby declare exercise Tiger Balm 2018, open!"