Seeing It Through Ex Red Flag - Nellis: ME2 Sam Lick

Seeing It Through Ex Red Flag - Nellis: ME2 Sam Lick

I am ME2 Sam Lick, an Air Force Engineer (AFE) who is currently in Peace Carvin V (PC V) detachment, Mountain Home, Idaho. I am an F-15SG Flight Line Crew, and my job is to ensure the F-15SGs are always mission ready. I perform the inspection, servicing, loading, and configuration of the aircraft to ensure its airworthiness and operational readiness to meet the various mission requirements.

There is a great sense of achievement and satisfaction to see our aircraft take off and perform their mission successfully. Knowing my effort translates to effective training for the aircrew motivates me to continue giving my best.

The RSAF deployed our F-15SGs to the air combat exercise.

This is my third time participating in Ex Red Flag - Nellis (Ex RFN). Despite being here for the third time, it's always a privilege and honour to represent the RSAF in the large-scale air combat exercise. However, this time is different as we have to adopt strict COVID-19 safe management measures to ensure the safety and well-being of the exercise participants. The RSAF has deployed our F-15SG fighter aircraft from PC V to participate alongside other foreign aircraft, including the USAF's F-35 fighter aircraft and over 2500 participants from the US, Sweden and the NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Force Squadron located in Germany. The experience of participating in a multi-national setting always sharpens my operational instincts.

The mission demands in Ex RFN are complex and ever changing. We had to be adaptive to respond to the changes and perform to the highest standards. It is also challenging due to the long hours required for the day and night missions, coupled with the cold and strong winds. This really tested our resilience, and we had to rely on our training and camaraderie to rally through these challenging periods.

AFEs loading an inert bomb on the F-15SG.

I volunteered to extend my stay in the USA for Ex RFN, as I was supposed to return to Singapore in December 2020, I felt I was able to contribute with my experience and supervision. My wife and daughter returned to Singapore first, so that my daughter could continue with her education.

While it is challenging to be apart from your family, my wife and daughter are very understanding, supportive of my service extension and proud of my contributions to the country. It is not easy, but with the technological advancements, I can always video call my family to connect with them. I look forward to going home and reuniting with them soon!