Friday, December 17, 2004

Rules of engagement and other things reservists have to worry about

iTunes' party shuffle is playing a copy of: Guilty - Jimmy Barnes - Flesh and Wood, of which I have the original CD and therefore didn't steal music.
My Army unit is on Mobilisation Manning this week, right after 17 days of in-camp training! If they mobilise us this Saturday just to practice, we will be very, very upset. Watch your tv screens for the flashing green man with our codewords: Flying Oyster Omelette, Soiled Sanitary Pad & Deep Fried Tofu. If they mobilise us because some Al-Qaeda affiliate tries to bash through the impenetrable barriers at Holland Village, we will still be very, very upset. Woe betide the Al-Qaeda affiliate. You joined the wrong club. Me and me mates wiw kew you dead, because we haven't had the chance to watch a midnight movie in a while. Speaking of angry reservists, so, no one wet their beds last, last Sunday night, and the IPPT was conducted on Monday morning without incident. Later on, we went for our theory lessons in Laws of Armed Conflict and Rules of Engagement. At the lecture, they showed us slides with some basic pointers on International Humanitarian Law accompanied by some gruesome pictures. Then they showed us clips from Platoon ("My Lai" village scene), and Rules of Engagement. Coincidentally, my platoon mate Dilbert Chua lent me a book called "Tell Me No Lies", which has a chapter on My Lai. So, in between naps, I read the chapter and wondered if Tuesday's practical portion of the LOAC and ROE (the SAF, they lurve them acronyms) could be effectively taught at the FIBUA (Fighting In Built Up Area) "village" near the ATC (Armour Training Centre). The lesson module was such that we were not told what exactly to expect, and how exactly to react, and we were to see if our military objectives could be effectively met while observing LOAC and ROE. So, we were shot at by 'civilian simulators' from the second floors (thank goodness only second floor. No lift leh!) of the HDB blocks, shot at from an ambulance, shot at from outside a checkpoint, grenaded by a 'simulated pregnant woman', delayed by a 'simulated hostage taker' taking 'simulated hostages', delayed by a 'simulated civilian asking for food and water and getting in the line of fire' etc, etc. It all went according to the trainers' expectations. We didn't know how to react. And because this was just a simulation, and not somewhere in Fallujah, the funniest scenario was when one section from my tactical team stormed a building only to find that two civilians had been taken hostage, and so we couldn't lob grenades into all three rooms of the three room flat from which we were fired upon. Tired and frustrated from climbing the stairs, and perhaps also from having problems at home, the 'hostage negotiations' were opened by a member of the section and it went something like this: What the fuck you want, ninabehcheebye motherfucker? I want an airline ticket! Airline ticket?? Cheebye! Simi airline?! Emirates! Cheebye! Emirates?! Ki tolo?! (go where?) Anywhere! Fuck you! Kaninabuchowcheebyemotherfucker! Limpehshootjitliaphorliseeeee! And then there was a burst of automatic gunfire. After which, the slack-jawed trainer declared the simulated hostages and their simulated captor dead. Then we broke for lunch, the troopers and simulated civilians and terrorists, though we could've eaten earlier if we had just lobbed grenades into the flat and saved some time. Some of us spoke up and said they were glad we weren't in a real war zone, because we might end up doing the same things the Americans are doing in Iraq, or the Israelis in the occupied territories. But would we, me and me mates, be as indiscriminately murderous if say, an Al-Qaeda affiliate tried to bash through the barriers at Holland Village? I'd say no. Because earlier, my section came under simulated sniper fire from a simulated two-room flat, and my section commander led us upstairs to the door of the flat, knocked on the door and said, "Open up, I count to three, you better open up, or else... or else.... we come in! ONE, TWO, THREE! Open lah, cheebye!" At our debrief, we were asked what else we could have done to meet our objective (which was to secure the junction downstairs). We could have lobbed two simulated M203 grenades into the windows where the sniper fire was coming from, and we'd be happy as larry, junction secured. But we didn't. So all youse civilians, ang mohs and chow-keng-never-do-reservist-because-downgradeds, if an Al-Qaeda affiliate tries to bash through the barriers at Holland Village, and me and me mates are mobilised, you can still sip your Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf lattes while we think twice before fragging the whole place. And you have our Army and their LOAC/ROE lesson package to thank. We also learned that Singapore is not a signatory to the 1st (Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts) and 2nd (Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts) additional protocols of the Geneva Conventions of 1949. Anyone know why? Laws of Armed Conflict & Rules of Engagement practical training Mr Tan's neighbourhood residents' committee tended to go over the top when dealing with complaints of noisy neighbours


Blogger JellyGirl said...

Heehee negotiating in Hokkien very funny.

As an aside, I heard a roo-mour that the bomb hoax in Holland V was not actually a hoax. Apparently, they did find a bomb but it was PR-engineered to be a hoax so the populace would not panic. I dunno...

12/17/2004 09:45:00 AM  
Blogger chainsawieldinun said...

uh... because we weren't around in 1949?

yes feeble attempt i know. :P

12/17/2004 10:20:00 AM  
Blogger Germaine said...

oh my the hostage negotiations had me laughing my ass off! :)

12/17/2004 10:21:00 AM  
Blogger Mandrake said...

I wonder if My Brown's experience with Halo 2 can contribute to actual warfare. Your description of lobing two grenades into the sniper room sounds like what someone described on his blog too! Hmm, maybe Halo 2 is good for the army too!

12/17/2004 10:32:00 AM  
Blogger aGent X said...

Hehehe..I like the part about the Emirates ticket.
Kena play 'hostage' before for an exhibition to some VIPs for the Police Star Team during NS.
They stormed using a helicopter, some fireworks, some spray bullets and was deafening although we had ear mufflers on. Needless to say, our scripts were as colourful as yours :)

12/17/2004 03:34:00 PM  
Blogger redshot said...

shit this is hilarious. you are turning icp into a cartoon.

12/18/2004 12:03:00 AM  
Blogger Jayaxe said...


Anyway, SAF soldiers should learn to translate the fearsome Hokkien vocab into something that terrorists understand. Then they will be scared to engage us.

12/18/2004 12:09:00 AM  
Blogger Mr Miyagi said...

I laughed till I cried as I was following that section with my camera. Didn't take as many photos as I would've liked, because it was a bit messy trying to get between the hostages/terrorists and the section.
And yes, Halo 2 experience would help in combat. About half our training this ICT was done in the ATGS (Armour Tactical Gunnery Simulator) which is this marvelous simulator housed in its own building.

12/18/2004 08:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ans: Any scout/rekke got caught by 'enemy' will be tortured like siao!
Ooi Miyagi,
u not scare ISA?
Anyway i laugh so hard, i almost fell off me chair!
Mel,Ozzie Ozzie Ooi Ooi Ooi

12/21/2004 05:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

camera phone in army ah?

wah so good...

then u post it online... wait next time cannot bring in liao how? :P

12/21/2004 09:26:00 AM  
Blogger Mr Miyagi said...

Not phone cam, but Canon Ixus 500! I had clearance from Bde S2 (I think lah), cos they want photos for some commemorative thing.

12/21/2004 02:53:00 PM  
Blogger mb said...

Eh, I see from the photo, your building must climb stairs one ah? No lift upgrading here? What, the whole FIBUA area voted Opposition or something, issit?

I think Halo 2 is not good to train proper soldiers lah. We see enemy sniping us from a room, we will shoot jitliap rocket launcher round give them die, even if our buddies are inside the same room. Then we will say to our team mates "sorry, sorry ah".

Real life like that do, sure kena at least 3 weekend guard duty.

12/22/2004 01:32:00 AM  
Blogger Mr Miyagi said...

Yah lor! That day whole day kenah shoot then must run up staircase! Not surprised that some of us got frustrated.

12/22/2004 01:45:00 AM  

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