Singapore and US Announce Basing of RSAF's F-16 and F-35B Fighter Training in the US

Singapore and US Announce Basing of RSAF's F-16 and F-35B Fighter Training in the US

The United States (US) Department of Defense (DoD), in consultation with the Singapore Ministry of Defence (MINDEF), has selected Ebbing Air National Guard Base at Fort Smith, Arkansas, as the preferred location to host the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF)'s future F-35B fighter aircraft[1] and F-16 fighter training detachment which will be relocated from Luke Air Force Base, Arizona[2], in Continental US (CONUS)[3]. Selfridge Air National Guard Base at Harrison Township, Michigan, has been established as an alternate location. An environmental impact assessment will be conducted to assess suitability before the basing decision is finalised. MINDEF would like to express appreciation to the leaders and communities of the two basing locations for their strong support for the RSAF's presence in CONUS.

Ebbing Air National Guard Base was shortlisted following careful feasibility studies between the RSAF and the US Air Force (USAF), which included factors such as suitability of location and training area, infrastructure and logistics support. The co-location of the RSAF F-16s and F-35Bs will also maximise opportunities for integrated training. The RSAF also looks forward to enhanced joint training and exchanges with the USAF's and US Marine Corps' F-35s. Such overseas training is important for the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) to overcome local airspace constraints and to conduct high-end realistic training.

MINDEF and the US DoD interact regularly through military-to-military exchanges, training and courses, and defence technology cooperation. The US has provided long-standing support for the SAF's overseas training in the US. In 2019, both countries also renewed the 1990 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Regarding US Use of Facilities in Singapore through the Protocol of Amendment and signed an MOU concerning the establishment of the RSAF's Training Detachment at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam.


[1] MINDEF had previously announced that the RSAF's F-35Bs will be deployed in continental US (CONUS) for training when the initial four are delivered in 2026.

[2] The RSAF's F-16s in the US are currently based at the Peace Carvin II (PC II) detachment in Luke Air Force Base, Arizona. The detachment was established in 1992 and is the longest operating RSAF overseas detachment.

[3] The RSAF currently has three training detachments in CONUS: PC II's F-16 detachment in Luke Air Force Base, Arizona; Peace Carvin V's F-15SG detachment in Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho; and Peace Vanguard's AH-64 Apache helicopter detachment in Marana, Arizona.

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