The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) consistently tests our systems and people through realistic training and operations to ensure operational readiness, especially crucial given the current threat from terrorism. For instance, Exercise Vigilant Shield 2016 conducted in November last year was a demonstration of the RSAF's robust networked air defence system and high level of integration across different platforms.
The series of RSAF Command Challenges organised annually by the RSAF's five Operational Command aim to stretch and test the capabilities of our platforms and servicemen and women locally. Flaming Arrow Challenge 2017 (FAC17) is one of the seven RSAF Command Challenges organised this year. Held from 9 to 20 January 2017, this challenge profiles the RSAF's Ground-Based Air Defence (GBAD) Units' competency in air defence operations by keeping Singapore's skies safe. The other six Command Challenges are Air Warrior Challenge (involving Helicopter Squadrons), Bigshot Challenge (involving Transport Aircraft Squadrons), Eagle Challenge (involving Air Power Generation Squadrons), Top Ace Challenge (involving Fighter Squadrons), Top Guardian Challenge (involving Control Squadrons), and Top Notch Challenge (involving Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadrons). These challenges aim to create a competitive atmosphere for the RSAF's servicemen and women to pit their skills against each other, while strengthening their operational standards and forging a stronger RSAF tribe.
Flaming Arrow Challenge 2017
FAC17 is an annual cross-Command GBAD competition that serves as one of the key platform for airmen and women from the GBAD Units to pit their skills against one another in a contest of operational capabilities and logistical expertise. The competition simulates real-time operations in realistic scenarios which challenge the RSAF servicemen and women to hone their employment tactics and skills, and raise the RSAF's operational standards.
FAC17 is held from 9 to 20 January 2017 at SAFTI Live Firing Area and Chong Pang Camp, and involves six participating GBAD units and two Air Engineering and Logistics squadrons. This year's FAC will see a total of 132 personnel participating, about half of which are NSmen. The GBAD systems deployed during this challenge are the Agile Multiple Beam (AMB) Radar, Improved Homing All the Way Killer (I-HAWK), Surface-to-Air Python-5 and DERby (SPYDER) and RBS-70.
FAC17 consists of six challenge events under the categories of Operations, Logistics and Professional Knowledge Component. They are (i) GBAD Aircraft Engagement; (ii) GBAD Deployment and Camouflage; (iii) Deployment Security; (iv) Combat Shoot; (v) GBAD Engineering and Maintenance; and (vi) Professional Knowledge.
a. Operational Components. The operational components involve (i) engagement of aerial threats during the GBAD engagement segment; (ii) deployment of GBAD assets and camouflaging of Platoon Command Post or Firing Unit from Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) detection, (iii) deployment security and (iv) combat shoot.
(i) Engagement of Aerial threats during GBAD Engagement Segment. The GBAD engagement segment challenges the respective teams' ability to engage fighter aircraft and helicopters simulating as aerial threats. The engagements on the simulated aerial threats were conducted in the SAFTI Live Firing Area with training simulators to determine whether the engagements by the GBAD systems were successful. This allowed the GBAD units to be tested in a realistic environment. The gunners will also compete to load the missiles in the fastest possible timing.
(ii) Deployment of GBAD Systems and Camouflaging of Platoon Command Post or Firing Unit from UAV detection. This cross-Command event, held in SAFTI Live Firing Area, tests the camouflaging skills of the GBAD units. The respective teams will be assessed based on their ability to conceal their deployed assets through camouflaging to avoid detection by the UAVs.
(iii) Deployment Security. This event tests the participants on the robustness of their area security defence planning and responsiveness against ground intrusion.
(iv) Combat Shoot. This event will test participants' accuracy of their small arms at the shooting range. The team with the highest average and the personnel with the highest individual score will win the event.
b. Logistics Component. The GBAD Engineering and Maintenance competition is designed to test the proficiency and speed of logistics crew in carrying out engineering and maintenance tasks at the team level. It aims to cultivate team excellence amongst ADSSs and AFEs and camaraderie between the Units, while adhering to prescribed safety and quality regulations. In the event, the ADSS from the respective Units and AFEs from 9 Air Engineering and Logistics Group work together to compete for the Best Engineering and Maintenance Team award. Each team will have to produce an engineering assessment and recommendation within a two-hour window when presented with a defect with potential fleet-wide implications.
c. Professional Knowledge Component. This event will test the professional knowledge of the participants on GBAD operations and systems. The team with the highest average score and the personnel with the highest individual score will win the event.
Participants will be competing for Overall Champion of FAC17 award, which is presented to the Unit with the highest total score from the six events.