Speech by Senior Minister of State for Defence Mr Heng Chee How at the Peace Carvin II 30th Anniversary Parade at Luke Air Force Base, USA On 25 Apr 2023

Speech by Senior Minister of State for Defence Mr Heng Chee How at the Peace Carvin II 30th Anniversary Parade at Luke Air Force Base, USA On 25 Apr 2023

Good afternoon

Singapore's Ambassador to the U.S., Mr Ashok Mirpuri

Chief of the Republic of Singapore Air Force, MG Kelvin Khong

Deputy Under-Secretary of the Air Force, International Affairs, Ms Kelli Seybolt,

Deputy Secretary for Administration, Ministry of Defence, Singapore, Mrs Elaine Ng,

Distinguished guests,




Today, the Republic of Singapore Air Force's (RSAF) Peace Carvin II Detachment celebrates its 30th birthday. This is a significant milestone for the RSAF's longest operating overseas detachment and a testament to the close and enduring strategic partnership between Singapore and the US.

Reaffirm Strong Relations with the US

Our bilateral defence ties go back a long way, and is strong and mutually beneficial. Singapore views the US' presence in the Asia Pacific as important for regional peace and stability and therefore welcomes it. In that spirit, we are happy to render support to US military assets using our bases in Singapore under the ambit of the 1990 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). This included thousands of port calls, stopovers, as well as rotational deployment of US Littoral Combat Ships and Poseidon P-8 Aircraft. We also participated in various US-led international operations, such as those in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Gulf of Aden. Ours is an enduring and active partnership.

Today, we particularly want to appreciate the US' provision of advanced defence technology and support for the SAF's training detachment here in Peace Carvin II.

The genesis of this stemmed from the US Government's agreement to commence the Peace Carvin (PC) Programme at Luke Air Force Base in 1988. Under the agreement, the RSAF acquired our first batch of F-16s to replace our ageing Hawker Hunter fleet. The F-16s heralded a new era of multi-role fighter capabilities for the RSAF. These fighters featured onboard radars and weapon systems that could see and fire at targets beyond visual range. To fully realise the potential capability of the aircraft, our crew needed large expanse of air space and challenging operational environments to sharpen their competencies and enhance their operational readiness, and for that, they also needed to be well supported in maintenance and logistics. We found and enjoyed all these in Arizona, with the solid partnership from the United States Air Force (USAF).

Journeying Together, PC-II Milestones

In 1993, the PC II detachment began operations under the designation of 425th Fighter Squadron and command of the 56th Fighter Wing at Luke Air Force Base. The detachment, led by a joint USAF-RSAF command team, has recorded many achievements. For instance, the detachment has clocked more than 75,000 hours of flying time and participated in Large Force Employment exercises such as Red Flag, Maple Flag, and Green Flag, as well as in many live-firing exercises. These have allowed our aircrew the chance to train in realistic and challenging environments to sharpen their aerial combat skills and flying competencies –capabilities that are so crucial to the RSAF given Singapore's land and airspace constraints.

The strong partnership between our two air forces has not only allowed us to hone our fighting skills together, but also led to the formation of two other permanent detachments in the US: namely the PC V Detachment in Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho, which operationalised our F-15SG fleet; and the Peace Vanguard which flies the AH-64D Apache helicopters in Marana, Arizona, just under two hours' drive from here. We also deploy our assets for training detachments at the Anderson Air Force Base in Guam. We are now working closely with the USAF and the Air Education training Command (AETC) to develop our new detachment in Ebbing base, Fort Smith, Arkansas. In addition to these, our air forces also interact regularly through air force-to-air force exchanges, bilateral and multilateral exercises such as Exercise Commando Sling and Cope Tiger.

I once again record our deep appreciation to the US Government and the USAF for your wonderful support and partnership.

To our servicemen and women at PC II, thank you for your dedication, and commitment to the detachment. We appreciate your hard work to safeguard the freedom and sovereignty of our country. We also appreciate the strong support of your families as you discharge your mission. I look forward to the opportunity later today to greet and thank you in person. And it was a joy, earlier in the day to have visited two home to meet the families there and their friends.

To the SAF Central Band who flew in specially from Singapore to mark this important occasion, thank you!

It now gives me great pleasure to wish the PC II detachment a very happy 30th Anniversary. Happy Birthday.

Thank you.

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