Lt Gen Stephen: Perhaps it’s time to train soldiers for rural, urban combat

By Jaythaleela K

MIRI, Oct 19: Commander of the Eastern Field Command Lt Gen Datuk Stephen Mundaw opined that the time may be ripe to start training soldiers for rural and urban combat, rather than focussing solely on jungle warfare.

Launching the `Malaysian Armed Forces (RAMD 20) and Royal Brunei Land Forces (RBLF)(MALBRU Setia Exercise 14/2018) here today, he said, “Perhaps, in future, to better improve soldiers’ tactical skills in battlefields, we can plan for ‘build in’ area exercise (training) for the purpose.

“This exercise will better improve tactical and technical skill operations in rural and urban combat scenarios.”

Datuk Stephen Mundaw (left) putting an armband on an officer taking part in the military exercise.
Soldiers from both countries in a group photo after the launching ceremony to commemorate the joint military exercise.

Citing the Marawi (Southern Philippines) siege in 2017 as an example of an urban combat situation, Stephen said he believed that with the fast-changing combat scenario, it was crucial for soldiers in Malaysia and Brunei to have the skills and knowledge to handle urban combat, such as avoiding casualties, clearing buildings, detecting and destroying improvised explosive devices and giving first-aid.

A total of 856 soldiers are taking part in the MALBRU Setia Exercise, which will run from today till Oct 25. The whole exercise involves areas stretching from Batu Niah to Bintulu, a distance of about 100km.

“We are hoping that through such a military exercise, we can build better understanding, equipment and processes on both sides,” Stephen said when met after the launching ceremony.

Also present at the ceremony was Deputy Commander of the Royal Brunei Land Force Col Damit Bakar. — DayakDaily