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Joint Military Exercise of Myanmar Army, Navy and Air Forces Conducted for the First Time in 20 Years

A joint military exercise of the units of Myanmar Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) was conducted at Pathein Station of South-west Command for the first time in 20 years under the name of “Hsinbyushin”, entitled in honour of a Konbaung-era king who founded the second largest Burmese empire after Bayinnaung of Taungoo dynasty in Myanmar history. The two-day collective exercise of army, navy and air units of Myanmar Armed Forces was aimed to enhance combat skills in conventional wars for national security and defence, according to the Office of the Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services.

Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Senior General Min Aung Hlaing attended the first session of the drill on February 2 along with Commander-in-Chief (Navy) Admiral Tin Aung San, Commander-in-Chief (Air) General Maung Maung Kyaw, senior military officers of the Office of the Commander-in-Chief and the commander of South-West Command.

Also present at the event were members of Tatmadaw (Army, Navy and Air) corps and reporters from local news agencies.

Major General Teza Kyaw, who served as the team leader of the exercise, presented the report to the Senior General and party on the introduction to the joint military exercise with the use of power point presentation and sand tables at the meeting hall of the training school of local battalion in Pathein Station. The presentation also included giving of verbal order to start battle, giving of verbal orders by respective army, navy and air force commanders in their respective military exercises and coordinated plans to which the Senior General later gave additional necessary instructions.

Afterwards, the Senior General and party viewed regimental-level military exercise with the combination of infantry and tanks the Tatmadaw (Army, Navy and Air). In the drill, the troops showed skills of moving canons by helicopter and occupying the target with the concerted effort of infantry and tanks, also being accompanied by missile firing.

“Tatmadaw must always try to strengthen its defence power for the able protection of the country,” said Senior General Min Aung Hlaing at the second session of the training carried out on February 3. “Tatmadaw must be strong and capable,” the Senior General said to the officers and those in other ranks who participated in the exercise, adding that Tatmadaw must be built through training to become skilful and efficient. He made the remarks after arriving at the viewing deck for landing operation. The second-day exercise started as scheduled. River-crossing operation team, naval special operation team, infantry unit and armoured troops conducted river-crossing operation. At the same time, troops from the Tatmadaw (Air) carried out search and rescue operations in the battlefield. Meanwhile, special troops hanging from a helicopter unexpectedly raided the fake enemy camps. Then, air force troops parachuted from an airplane and raided the enemy’s administrative and logistics camps.

The jet fighters and helicopters from the Tatmadaw (Air) attacked the respective enemy targets; canons were fired; infantry troops and armoured troops  made a beach landing; and warships from the Tatmadaw (Navy) opened fire at the reinforced enemy ships. Then, landing troops raided the enemy camps and crushed and occupied the respective enemy targets.

Then, the drill concluded after the dropping of ammunition and rations from the airplane, carrying of wounded troops by ambulances and the airlifting of emergency patients.

Senior General Min Aung Hlaing praised the officers and those in other ranks from Tatmadaw (Army, Navy and Air) for their cooperation to successfully conclude the military exercise. The Commander-inChief said it was necessary to review the experience of the exercise to take lesson from the weaknesses surfaced. Tatmadaw units (Army, Navy and Air) did the joint military exercise based on training experiences.

“As the nature of the warfare is always changing, Tatmadaw needs to keep pace with it,” said Senior General Min Aung Hlaing. “Military strategies have changed day by day due to the production of modern military equipment, therefore it needs to seek changing technologies in order to apply them,” he continued. “The country’s defence duty cannot be done in a hasty manner. It needs systematic preparations, formation and trainings. Each serviceman, unit and battalion has to undergo training. Servicemen need to adhere to our training policy: always studying the matters, always undergoing training and always following disciplines. Not only our country but also other countries are undergoing such trainings. These efforts aim to safeguard their countries. It is the duty of all armed forces. For a country which had previously lost independence, Myanmar needs more defence capacity and power. The country lost its independence as it lacked a modern Tatmadaw and showed weak unity. It is found that all small countries which face the threats from superpowers have made preparations for their defence. The countries with weak defence prowess  may face (outer) insults and threats”, said the Commander-in-Chief.

He continued that the Thirty Comrades led by General Aung San learned the military arts in Japan and formed a modern Tatmadaw for independence struggle. “The country regained independence as the Thirty Comrades struggled for independence by joining hands with the people. Since the independence period to date, Tatmadaw has been steering the country. So servicemen always undergo training in order that Tatmadaw becomes the skilful one. In doing so, servicemen themselves are to do training to become healthy, fit, skilful and brave”, the Senior General said.

Chief of Armed Training Forces Lieutenant General Maung Maung Aye presented an emblem for the joint military exercise of the Tatmadaw (Army, Navy and Air) to Senior General Min Aung Hlaing. Afterwards, the Senior General cordially greeted reporters from local media, and answered their questions. During the trip to the training, the Senior General also inspected the battlefield logistics camps and a 20-bed mobile battlefield hospital platoon, and made necessary instructions.

The tw0-day drill marked the first joint military exercise of the units of Tatmadaw, as the last time a similar exercise took place was 20 years ago.