RSAF clinches 3 awards in US exercise

RSAF clinches 3 awards in US exercise
RSAF Air Force Engineers launching the F-16s at Nellis Air Force Base.

SINGAPORE - The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) clinched three awards at the recently-concluded United States Air Force (USAF)-hosted Exercise Red Flag-Nellis at Nellis Air Force Base in the US state of Nevada from August 17 to 28. The RSAF won for "Best Aircraft Maintenance Unit", "Best Overall Mission Commander" and "Best Personnel Rescue Warrior".

The RSAF deployed nine F-16C/D fighter aircraft, three CH-47 helicopters, and about 170 personnel from its Peace Carvin II and Peace Prairie detachments in the US to participate in this air combat exercise together with 91 other aircraft from the USAF and other foreign air forces.

According to a statement from the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF), during the exercise, the RSAF F-16C/D fighter aircraft sparred with designated opponent fighter aircraft that employed electronic warfare such as radar jamming, and dropped air-to-ground weapons on opponent targets. The RSAF also carried out Combat Search-and-Rescue missions to rescue simulated downed aircrew.

The "Best Aircraft Maintenance Unit" award was presented to the crew from the Peace Carvin II detachment, in recognition of their efforts in ensuring that the RSAF F-16C/Ds were in tip-top condition throughout the 12-day exercise. The "Best Overall Mission Commander" award was presented to Captain Jireh Ang, an F-16 pilot, for his stellar performance as a mission commander leading his team to a number of successful missions, while the "Best Personnel Rescue Warrior" award was presented to Captain Sean Teo, an F-16 pilot, for his outstanding performance in leading his team on a successful personnel recovery mission, said the statement.

Lieutenant-Colonel Kenneth Lim, the RSAF Peace Carvin II Detachment Commander, said: "Exercise Red Flag-Nellis allowed us to hone our operational competencies in a realistic training environment against a wide spectrum of air and land threats while benchmarking ourselves against other leading air forces. This year, the RSAF F-16s from Peace Carvin II and the Chinooks from Peace Prairie trained alongside our US and other foreign counterparts in this large-scale day and night exercise. With focused minds and team excellence, we upheld high standards and continued to do well in the exercise."

Exercise Red Flag-Nellis enhances the combat readiness and operational capabilities of the participating air forces with close to 2,000 possible targets and a dedicated opponent force trained in adversary tactics. During the exercise, participants engaged in air combat and strike missions in a realistic and challenging environment which allowed them to hone and sharpen their capabilities.

The RSAF has been participating in Exercise Red Flag-Nellis since 1982. The exercise underscores the excellent and long-standing defence relationship between the United States and Singapore.

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