|Singapore Air Force F-15SG (Image: Wiki Commons)|
By: Mike Yeo
MELBOURNE, Australia – Singapore has deployed its Boeing F-15s to Guam for training with the United States Air Force for the first time, according to the Southeast Asian island state’s defense ministry.
A spokesperson from the ministry confirmed that the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) “is deploying six F-15SGs and about 100 personnel from 142 Squadron to Andersen Air Force Base in Guam for fighter flying training with the United States Pacific Air Forces’ 44th Fighter Squadron from 10 April to 11 May 17,” also noting that “the RSAF and the PACAF interact regularly through a wide range of activities, including regular bilateral and multilateral exercises such as Exercise Commando Sling and Exercise Cope Tiger. These interactions have enhanced the interoperability and people-to-people ties between the two air forces.”
The 44th Fighter Squadron is assigned to the 18th Wing, based at Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan. Capt. Candice Dillitte, deputy chief of PACAF’s public affairs operations division, told Defense News that 14 USAF F-15Cs will be taking part in the exercise, adding that the drill is aimed at “enhancing our interoperability to ensure regional security and stability.”
The 44th Fighter Squadron had only recently completed its participation at Exercise Cope Tiger in Thailand, where it trained with elements of the RSAF and Royal Thai Air Force at Thailand’s Korat Air Base.
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had only last year said the government was exploring the possibility of the RSAF training in Guam. Although it has one of the region’s most advanced militaries, Singapore lacks the land and airspace to effectively conduct training, with its main island measuring only 277 square miles.
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