Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Lawrence Wong, who is conducting a working visit to the United States (US) from 5 to 15 October 2023, visited the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF)'s Peace Carvin (PC) II detachment at Luke Air Force Base (AFB), Arizona earlier this morning (Singapore Time).
DPM Wong, who was accompanied by the United States Air Force (USAF) 56th Fighter Wing Commander of Luke AFB Brigadier General Jason M. Rueschhoff and the RSAF Commander Air Combat Command Brigadier-General Lim Kok Hong, toured the detachment's facilities and was briefed on its training programme. DPM Wong interacted with the RSAF detachment personnel and their families at Luke AFB. Speaking to the RSAF servicemen and women at PC II, DPM Wong said, "Singapore and the US have very strong cooperation across multiple fronts, including in defence. Singapore's military training presence is among one of the largest in the US, and that speaks to the confidence and trust both countries have in each other. I look forward to further developing and growing this partnership. He also added, "Thank you to our RSAF servicemen and women, for your dedication in sharpening our military capabilities and ultimately helping to keep Singapore safe, and a big thank you to your families for their support!"
During the visit, DPM Wong was also briefed on the RSAF's future F-35s, which is expected to be delivered from 2026. He was shown the USAF F-35 to appreciate the aircraft's advanced capabilities. The F-35s will replace the RSAF's fleet of F-16s, which will be progressively drawn down from the mid-2030s.
Established in 1993, PC II is the RSAF's longest-running overseas detachment. The training in the US allows the RSAF to overcome Singapore's airspace constraints and to hone air combat skills and operational competencies in a realistic and challenging training environment. Over the next few years, the PC II detachment will be relocated to Ebbing Air National Guard Base at Fort Smith, Arkansas. The co-location of the RSAF F-16s and future F-35s will maximise training opportunities for the RSAF.
The RSAF's aircrew and ground crew also participate regularly in various exercises to hone their operational skills and competencies alongside their US counterparts, such as the multilateral large-scale air combat Exercise Red Flag series. These interactions underscore the excellent and long-standing defence relations between Singapore and the US, and enhance the cooperation and people-to-people ties between both countries' air forces.
DPM Wong's visit to PC II underscores Singapore's commitment to the Singapore-US defence relationship, which is anchored by the 1990 Memorandum of Understanding Regarding United States Use of Facilities in Singapore, which was most recently renewed in 2019, the 2005 Strategic Framework Agreement and Defence Cooperation Agreement, and the 2015 Enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement.