Marking 30 years of high-end training in US skies

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26 Apr 2023 | MILESTONES

Marking 30 years of high-end training in US skies

Story by Thrina Tham / Photos by Chua Soon Lye & Courtesy of RSAF

English 华文

The Peace Carvin II detachment, which operates the F-16 fighter jets, celebrated its 30th anniversary today. Here are four things about RSAF's longest-running overseas detachment.

Chief of Air Force MG Kelvin Khong unveiling a commemorative tail flash on the F-16 fighter aircraft.

The Republic of Singapore Air Force's (RSAF's) Peace Carvin II (PCII) detachment celebrated its 30th anniversary on 25 April – marking three decades of high-end training on the F-16 fighter aircraft in the US.

Senior Minister of State for Defence, Mr Heng Chee How officiated the anniversary parade at Luke Air Force Base in Glendale, Arizona earlier today, where he said that the milestone is testament to the close and enduring partnership between Singapore and the US.

"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 air space constraints."

As part of the celebrations, Chief of Air Force Major-General (MG) Kelvin Khong also unveiled a commemorative tail flash, while Mr Heng visited some of the families of the detachment servicemen.

Here's what you need to know about the PCII.

Mr Heng receiving a salute after inspecting the PCII 30th anniversary parade.

1.  It is the RSAF's longest-running overseas detachment

PCII is the RSAF's longest-running overseas detachment, beginning its operations in 1993.

Since then, the RSAF's air crew has made use of the vast training airspace to conduct realistic training scenarios, such as threat simulations. "We have the opportunity to conduct high-end training, sharpening competencies such as electronic warfare and live weapons employment," said Detachment Commander Major (MAJ) Tan Yong Chin.

The detachment is led by a joint United States Air Force (USAF) and RSAF team – under the designation of 425th Fighter Squadron at Luke Air Force Base.

MAJ Tan said that the training at PCII has allowed his detachment to benchmark themselves with other world-class air forces.

2.  It has clocked more than 75,000 hours of flying time

The PCII detachment has clocked more than 75,000 hours of flying time and participated in large-force exercises including as Exercises Red Flag, Maple Flag and Green Flag.

"Such multilateral exercises allow us to continue to sharpen our competencies and benchmark ourselves with foreign air forces around the world," said MAJ Tan Yong Chin.

Two F-16 aircraft from the PCII detachment taking part in Exercise Red Flag – Alaska in 2018.

The ground crew has also benefitted from training with the USAF at PCII.

"The greatest takeaway from training here is the cross-sharing of knowledge and expertise with my USAF counterparts," said Air Force Engineer Military Expert 2 (ME2) Yogaraj Kunaseelan, whose role is to ensure that the aircraft's armaments and weapon systems are mission-ready.

"(These) training experiences allow me to sharpen my skills and I'm able to share the knowledge with my juniors when I'm back in Singapore."

ME2 Yogaraj said that training with his USAF counterparts allowed him to sharpen his skills as an air force engineer.

3.  PCII has won awards at multilateral exercises

Air and ground crew of the PCII detachment have taken part in multiple competitions and clinched awards.

Last year, they won "Outstanding Aircraft Maintenance Unit" at the multilateral air combat exercise Red Flag – Nellis in the Nevada, US.

The exercise involved about 55 aircraft from the RSAF, Royal Saudi Air Force and USAF, testing their combat readiness in both day and night environments.

They also nabbed the 56th Fighter Wing's Annual Weapon Load Competition 2020, which involved teams from the F-16 and F-35 squadrons from the USAF. They were assessed on their technical knowledge and the speed and precision of munition loading.

The air force engineers from PCII won the Annual Weapon Load Competition 2020 at Luke Air Force Base.

4.  It is one of three permanent training detachments in the US

The RSAF has three training detachments in US where it hones its air fighting skills with the USAF.

Another detachment is Peace Carvin V, which operates the F-15SG fighter jets at Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho.

The Peace Vanguard detachment in Marana, Arizona allows the RSAF to conduct high-end training on the AH-64D Apache helicopter. The detachment will mark its 20th year on 26 Apr.

Speaking at the PCII anniversary, Mr Heng said that the RSAF is developing a new detachment in Ebbing base, Fort Smith, Arkansas, in partnership with the USAF and the Air Education Training Command (AETC).

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