Singapore Deploys Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Unit to Afghanistan

The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) has deployed a 52-man Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Task Group to Tarin Kowt, the provincial capital of Uruzgan, and a team of four institutional trainers to Kabul as part of Singapore's overall contribution to the multinational stabilization and reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan.

The UAV Task Group, which commences operations today, will be deployed for three months, from August to November 2010. The four institutional trainers, who started their operations a week earlier, will be deployed till December 2010. They will then hand over to a second rotation of institutional trainers who will be deployed for four months till April 2011.

This is the first time that the SAF is deploying a UAV Task Group and institutional trainers to Afghanistan.

During its deployment, the UAV Task Group will operate out of Multinational Base Tarin Kowt to augment the International Security Assistance Force's (ISAF's) surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities in Uruzgan. The Task Group will be carrying out assigned tasks such as the surveillance of key roads, to enhance the security of Afghan locals and the international forces.

The four SAF institutional trainers are deployed in an artillery school in Kabul to assist in the ISAF's efforts to train the Afghan National Army (ANA). They will advise the ANA on artillery training and doctrine development, assist in the design of Train-the-Trainer programmes for ANA instructors, and advise the school on the effective administration and conduct of artillery courses.

The SAF has been making deployments to Afghanistan since May 2007. The SAF currently has a six-man construction engineering team in Bamiyan province supervising the construction of a comprehensive health clinic, as well as a 21-man Weapon Locating Radar team at the Tarin Kowt base since September 2009 to provide early warning of rocket attacks and enhance force protection measures for ISAF personnel.

Earlier this year, an eight-man SAF surgical team was deployed to a field hospital at the same base to provide surgical and medical support to the ISAF personnel deployed there, as well as emergency medical care for the Afghan locals.


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