Singapore to provide artillery training to Afghan forces

Singapore forces role will just remain as peace support force in Afghanistan.

Singapore: Singapore military personnel will provide artillery training for Afghan officers at a school to be set up either in Kabul or Kandahar, according to media reports here on Thursday.

Singapore Defence Minister Teo Chee Hean said the training was part of multi-national efforts to help the country`s national security forces build up their capability. Singapore Armed Forces has reassessed its peace support mission in Afghanistan as part of a significant increase in deployment by NATO and the International Security Assistance Force over the past year.

But he stressed that Singapore forces` role would remain as a peace support force in Afghanistan and there were no plans for riskier and front line deployment.

Teo explained that what happens in Afghanistan has a bearing on Singapore`s security.

"Our purpose in Afghanistan is to support the international efforts there, to try and bring stability to Afghanistan so that Afghanistan will not be a location from which terrorism is exported to other parts of the world, including to our region and to Singapore," said Teo in the interview published today.

Teo, who is also the Deputy Prime Minister, said: "We`ll work together with our Australian friends, Australian Defence Force, to do training for artillery in a school which will be set up either in Kabul or Kandahar.”

"We will help to set up the school, including things like training methodology, curriculum and so on, and we will train the artillery men for the Afghan National Security Forces - that means how to operate, how to use artillery guns, and the key principles involved in using artillery systems."

This is the fourth year Singapore has deployed armed forces personnel in the war-torn Afghanistan.

In all, Singapore would have 160 servicemen in Afghanistan this year, having deployed 97 last year. A crew of 52 would be deployed for three months from next month to operate a pilotless surveillance plane and to support NATO-led coalition forces in Oruzgan province.

Another 21-man team, manning battlefield radar to detect enemy artillery and rocket launches, would stay in Tarin Kowt through to the end of this year, having had the stay extended from last month, he said.


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