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Urban warfare training? There's a new range for that

The Murai Urban Live Firing Facility can train up to 100 soldiers a day, and will feature a hand grenade house that will be ready by end-2014.

SINGAPORE: With more battles being fought in urban environments, the ability to fight in built-up areas has become more critical. These skills can now be honed at the Murai Urban Live Firing Facility, which was launched on Thursday (Aug 14). 

Speaking at the launch, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said: "I think in this generation, cities are built up. Whether it is for humanitarian missions, or even what we call guerilla warfare, fighting in built-up areas will be more likely the scenario."

Soldiers in Singapore have already been training in urban warfare, but the new facility allows for enhanced training realism. It can accommodate the training of more people - up to 100 soldiers a day - and soldiers who are training in Urban Operations can now fire live rounds at buildings.

Said Brigadier-General Chiang Hock Woon, Chief Infantry Officer: "At the end of the day, you can do a lot of training, but live firing is the most important part. That is as realistic as it can get before you submit and subject the soldiers to an operation."

After soldiers fire at a building, they will usually advance into an adjacent block to take down enemies in the next building, or engage in close firing in a room. In the past, the different components of this training sequence would have been conducted separately. 

The facility will also feature an enclosed hand grenade house - a first in the region. It will allow soldiers to feel the impact of a grenade attack in a confined area, and Mindef said it will be ready by the end of the year.

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