Singapore celebrates partnership with Air Force

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Jasmine Reif
  • 366th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
U.S. government and Republic of Singapore officials celebrated their partnership during the Peace Carvin V inauguration of the F-15SG fighter detachment Nov. 19 here.

The ceremony honored the Peace Carvin V F-15 detachment known as the 428th Fighter Squadron, which will operate up to 12 F-15SG fighter aircraft at the base, and feature Singapore and American airmen working side-by-side.

The detachment of approximately 16 Airmen, 250 Republic of Singapore air force personnel, and 95 contractors to include pilots, weapons system officers and ground crew members, will implement air-to-air and air-to-ground training and development programs. A core group of fully qualified F-15SG air and ground crew will bring the F-15SG fighter aircraft up to full operational capability by 2012.

"While our relationship with the Republic of Singapore and its air force has been strong in the past, I know the partnership here will bring us even closer together," said Secretary of the Air Force Michael B. Donley. "We look forward to working toward our common objectives and increasing our interoperability, so that when necessary, our two air forces can stand shoulder-to-shoulder in defense of our mutual interests."

Members of the 428th FS will also participate in Air Force exercises such as Cope Tiger in Thailand and Red Flag at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., to hone their professional skills and enhance their combat readiness. The partnership builds mutual cooperation both commercially and militarily, and strengthens the bonds between the two countries.

"These exercises foster mutual understanding and enhance interoperability between our armed forces," said Teo Chee Hean, Republic of Singapore deputy prime minister and minister for defence. "They allow us to operate seamlessly together when called upon to do so, such as in multinational operations in Iraq, as well as in relief operations in the wake of Hurricane Katrina."

According to Secretary Donley, Singapore's men and women have been steadfast and reliable partners in combating maritime piracy, violent extremism, the transit of weapons of mass destruction, and human suffering caused by natural and man-made disasters.

The long-term goals of the partnership are to build lasting relationships between the two militaries and personnel, and elevate the partnership between both nations.

The Peace Carvin V detachment was established in October 2008.

"In the last 12 months, we've gone a long way to make this a reality, and it's happened through our consistent diplomacy, consensus and teamwork," said Col. John Bird, the 366th Fighter Wing commander.

The short-term goal of Peace Carvin V is to help the Republic of Singapore air force train enough pilots, weapons systems operators, ground control intercept officers, and maintainers to be able to operate its new fleet of F-15SG aircraft at Mountain Home AFB and in Singapore.

After this initial training cycle is complete, the primary training will transition to Singapore, and the Peace Carvin V program will function as a high-end training squadron.

"This merging of U.S. and Singapore training will help develop commonality between the air forces and assist in future operations," said Lt. Col. Keith Gibson, the 428th FS commander.

The deputy prime minister said the Republic of Singapore air force detachments in the United States, "have provided realistic, rigorous and demanding training for our airmen to build up their combat readiness.

"They have also seen countless friendships forged between the airmen and crews of our two air forces," he said. "They are a reflection of the longstanding defense relationship between Singapore and the United States."

The Peace Carvin program has a history spanning 21 years with detachments at four other locations in the United States.

The other locations with American-Singapore partnership units include the Peace Carvin II F-16 fighter detachment at Luke AFB, Ariz., Peace Prairie CH-47 Chinook helicopter detachment in Grand Prairie, Texas, Peace Vanguard AH-64 Apache helicopter detachment at Marana, Ariz., and Peace Triton S-70B Sikorsky Seahawk naval helicopter detachment at San Diego.