PM Lee visits SAF troops participating in Exercise Wallaby
By Alvina Soh | 10 October 2012 Wednesday | 2119 hrs
SINGAPORE: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Wednesday visited Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) troops participating in Exercise Wallaby in Queensland, Australia.
Mr Lee witnessed an integrated air-land live-firing exercise and interacted with servicemen during the exercise.
Writing in his Facebook page, Mr Lee said this was his first visit, though the SAF has been training in Rockhampton and Shoalwater Bay for 30 years.
He said that the one thing that has not changed is that the Singapore spirit was alive and well in Australia.
Mr Lee said he enjoyed driving the Terrex, with the hatch closed, and looking at the TV image.
He quipped that commanders told him the young soldiers find it a breeze as it is just like playing a computer game.
Mr Lee also thanked the mayor and residents of Rockhampton, for without their generosity, Singapore's soldiers would not have this chance to train in tough but realistic conditions.
Mr Lee said it is important soldiers have the spirit to serve and fight.
He said: "I think it is not easy to maintain that spirit and that commitment over a long period of time, because it is successive generations of commanders, of political leaders, and parents who need to support what the NSmen and NSF are doing and to convince them that this is important."
More than 4,300 SAF personnel are involved in this year's exercise, which will end on November 24. The exercise aims to strengthen the close and longstanding defence relationship between Singapore and Australia.
Mr Lee was accompanied by Mrs Lee, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Defence and National Development, Dr Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Community Development, Youth & Sports, Sam Tan Chin Siong, as well as Members of Parliament and senior officials from the Prime Minister's Office, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the SAF.