RSAF's PC V Clinches 4th Outstanding Maintenance Unit Award at US ExerciseThey put their skills to the test and came out tops.
//Story Benita Teo
// Photos courtesy of the Republic of Singapore Air Force
It was a day of victory for the airmen and women of the Republic of Singapore Air Force's (RSAF's) Peace Carvin (PC) V detachment, who clinched the Outstanding Maintenance Unit award at Exercise Red Flag – Nellis, their fourth win in a row.
The participating teams were assessed based on the maintenance and serviceability of their jets, and on the standards and discipline of their squadrons.
"One of the main challenges was keeping up with the high tempo of the exercise. We fly twice, once in the day and once at night, and we have a limited amount of time to service the jets between flights and ensure that there are enough jets for the next flight," explained Air Force Engineer Military Expert (ME) 1 Geraldine Tan, who was part of the winning team. The 23-year-old is responsible for maintaining and servicing the engines on the F-15SG aircraft.
This meant that it was all-hands-on-deck for the different teams, who jumped in to help their colleagues so that they could meet the tight turnaround times, a task they all did willingly and eagerly to ensure the success of the exercise.
"Teamwork was definitely the main factor in our win. Every single member of the team was clear about their role in the exercise, and they completed their tasks well. This award is testament to our professionalism and strong team spirit," said ME1 Tan.
Realistic and challenging training missions
This was ME1 Tan's first time at the large-scale air combat exercise, which was held at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, United States from 9 to 20 Mar 2021.
Hosted by the United States Air Force (USAF), the exercise featured a series of realistic and challenging air-to-air and air-to-ground training missions designed to enhance the combat readiness and operational competencies of the participating air forces.
Over 140 RSAF personnel from the PC V detachment in Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho and 10 F-15SG fighter aircraft took part in the exercise.
They put their skills to the test alongside over 2,500 participants from the US, Sweden and the NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Force Squadron located in Germany.
Over 90 foreign aircraft, including the USAF's F-35 fighter aircraft and a dedicated F-16 fighter aircraft adversarial force from the USAF's 64th Aggressor Squadron, were involved in the exercise.
PC V Detachment Commander Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Shewan Goh explained the importance of the RSAF's participation at Exercise Red Flag – Nellis: "The exercise is an invaluable opportunity for our airmen and women to hone their competencies by training against a dedicated adversarial force employing advanced tactics and electronic warfare. I am glad to say that our RSAF team performed well when benchmarked against the other air forces, testament to our high operational standards."
LTC Goh, 41, also highlighted the stringent safe management measures that were put in place to ensure that all the participants would be able to train safely amid COVID-19. These include enforcing mask-wearing, safe-distancing and cohorting to limit physical interaction with other exercise participants.
"The RSAF has displayed exceptional tactics and competencies during this exercise. They have proven themselves to be on par with other advanced air forces and hit the targets they were assigned," said 41-year-old LTC Eric Gorney, the USAF's 64th Aggressor Squadron Commander.
"I'm impressed with the skills and performance they have brought to the table. It is important for us to continue to hone our cooperation and strengthen our relationship through such exercises."