RSAF pilots go up against US F-22 fighter aircraft in Alaska

SINGAPORE - The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) is participating in the United States Air Force (USAF)-hosted "Exercise Red Flag-Alaska" at Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska, United States from May 8 to 23, 2014.

A statement from the RSAF said it has deployed nine F-16C/D fighter aircraft and about 100 personnel from its Peace Carvin II Detachment in Arizona, United States, to engage in this air combat operations exercise together with 67 other aircraft, including the USAF's F-22, F-15 and F-16 fighter aircraft and the E-3 airborne early warning aircraft.

This is also the second time that the RSAF is participating in Exercise Red Flag together with the USAF's F-22, a fifth-generation fighter aircraft.

Highlighting the significance of the RSAF's participation in the exercise, Lieutenant Colonel Maximillion Goh, the RSAF Exercise Director for Exercise Red Flag - Alaska, said, "We are pleased to train and operate alongside our USAF counterparts in this large-scale exercise.

"It hones our operational competencies and allows us to forge closer co-operation and stronger friendship among the participants."

Exercise Red Flag - Alaska was originally named Exercise Cope Thunder, before it was re-designated in 2006. The RSAF first participated in Exercise Cope Thunder in 1984. This combat training exercise allows the participants to execute air defence and strike operations in a realistic, high-threat environment to enhance their combat readiness and operational capabilities.

It also underscores the excellent and long-standing defence relationship between the United States and Singapore.