Marines gain 'confidence' in Singapore


I love fairyangels
Sep 4, 2008
Don't know what year is this report from, but oh well...

Marines gain 'confidence' in Singapore

Marines gain 'confidence' in Singapore
11 obstacles test Marines' maneuverabilities

Cpl. Eric McLeroy, 11th MEU (SOC) Public Affairs

Hedon Camp, Singapore – From above, it might be mistaken for a giant playground. Steel beams painted yellow tower more than 30 feet above the ground with ropes and ladders attached to them. During an 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) port visit to Singapore July 24-30, Marines from battalion landing team 1/1 were given the opportunity to gain the same kind of confidence possessed by the Singaporean Army's 1st Commando Battalion.
Marines from Company A converged on the high confidence course here July 28. Singaporean soldiers were exercising and cleaning their barracks when three buses carrying Marines rolled onto their parade deck. The sun hadn't yet risen above the trees when the Marines arrived to wrap up their two-day training evolution in Singapore.

One day earlier, the Marines had patrolled for twenty-four hours in the jungle of the Lower Mandai training area. Their faces blended with their mud-stained uniforms except for patches of skin wiped clean of camouflage paint. Slumped in their seats, the Marines kept their eyes closed and took advantage of a few extra moments to sleep while bus drivers asked soldiers for directions to the course.

Upon arrival, the A Company Marines awoke from their short naps and sluggishly poured out of the air-conditioned bus and into the hot, damp blanket of air that covered the course. It was 7 a.m., and the cool air that rolled off the nearby bay during the night was warming up. Each man found his pack after it was unloaded from the storage truck and then married up with his platoon. The company wasn't slated to attack the confidence course for another hour, which gave everyone a chance to don a dry pair of socks and open their "meals-ready-to-eat."

After a short walk across a steel catwalk, the men dropped their packs and ate. The steel bridge spanned the width of a basin that opened up into the bay. The course was comprised of several obstacles, including a handle bar and cable system that allowed the Marines to slide from one side of the basin to the other.

Each obstacle involved the Marines climbing to dangerous heights. During a safety brief from a Singaporean warrant officer, they learned how to wear and use the mandatory safety harnesses. Yellow, nylon straps resembling safety gear worn by recreational rock climbers and bungee jumpers included a metal D-ring that connected to safety cables at each obstacle.

"This is a lot higher and harder than what I expected," said 20-year-old Madras, Ore., native Lance Cpl. Brian McLean, of Weapons Platoon. "This is my first float and (the training) is different than at Camp Pendleton."

The company spread out across the course like children at a playground. They were soon evenly divided among all 11 obstacles. The site resembled a U.S. Marine Corps-style confidence course except for a tunnel system and varying rope climbs and balance beams.

An above ground system of concrete tunnels tested the Marines' ability to maneuver through dark, confined spaces. The remaining obstacles involved everyone climbing to uncomfortable heights and moving across jungle-gym-like structures.

"The goal here was to get off the ship and conduct sustainment training," said Maj. Patrick Byron, commanding officer, of A Company. "I think everything went well. The Singaporeans were extremely professional."

The host soldiers were standing close by to observe the Marines. Aside from the safety brief, the men were given free reign on the course. Friendly yells of encouragement resonated inside the structures, and smiles covered their faces instead of the gritty appearance the men wore the day before.

The Marines of A Company headed back to the buses just after noon. The rest of their time in Singapore was spent touring the city and relaxing.

I visited Singapore about a decade ago returned from the Philippines to the US. I was amazed by the cleanliness of the city and the politeness of all. I hope to visit again someday. We stayed in a hotel near Chiangi (sp?) prison. Tough looking place.
Littering has a pretty hefty fine in Singas. 1CDO is our sister Bn in Singapore, we had a Bn stationed at Dieppe barracks from 69-89 after Malaya scaled down so were still fairly well liked there. Good to see the article didn't mention boogie street or the four floors, no doubt that was the relaxing part :)

The high ropes course is good fun, I shit my pants when I did it and got sewing machine leg going up a ladder, took a few deep breaths and the knowledge that my mates were all watching to keep me going up.
We are good at maneuvering "through dark, confined spaces." Even when intoxicated. :D
Good to see the article didn't mention boogie street or the four floors, no doubt that was the relaxing part

I've heard of the four floors, any good?