SHAH ALAM: The Army hold a major exercise – Eks Stallion – in the areas from Tapah, Perak to Rawang, Selangor between June 23 and July 4, 2013. Some 5000 soldiers and 300 vehicles from the Second and Fourth Division took part in the exercise which concentrated on Delaying Defence and Operations in Build Up Area (OBUA) operations.
Urban Warfare, mounted or not is a bloody, dirty and slow work. It does not lent much to observers especially when no live ammo is expanded. As the finale of the exercise was held some 100 metres from residents of the sparsely populated Taman Bukit Sentosa, Serendah, blanks and thunderclaps were the order of the day.
At a special designed MOUT complex, like those in the US and UK, the full capability of an infantry unit from small arms to mortars could be utilised adding to the realism of the exercise and therefore increasing its drama factor by a notch or two.
Anyhow for the closing ceremony, an assault to a clear an occupied shophouse from “enemy soldiers” was conducted coupled with a heliborne assault by commandos to “capture” the enemy for intelligence. With the Nuri already available, a medevac of a “seriously injured” soldier was also demonstrated.
As its a mounted operations exercise, four PT-91M Pendekar MBT also took part in the demonstration assisted by an Armoured Recovery Vehicle (a PT-91M derivative) by breaking a road block. With the road block smashed, an Armoured Vehicle Bridge Layer (AVLB) or PMC Leguan, another PT-91M derivative also demonstrated its bridge laying capability.
This was the first time that an ARV and AVLB had taken part in an exercise which was open to the media. To be honest I don’t understand the need for the commandos and MBTs to participate in the closing ceremony. Probably they wanted to add some drama to an otherwise dull but obviously very important training exercise.
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