The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF)'s Peace Vanguard (PV) detachment celebrated 20 years of AH-64D Apache helicopter training at the Arizona National Guard Silverbell Army Heliport in Marana, Arizona, earlier today. The celebration was officiated by Senior Minister of State for Defence Mr Heng Chee How and hosted by Chief of Air Force, Major-General Kelvin Khong, Commander of the RSAF's Participation Command, Colonel Marcel Xu and Detachment Commander of Peace Vanguard Detachment Lieutenant-Colonel Yeow Mun Cheng.
Established in 2003, the PV detachment works closely with the Arizona National Guard's U.S. Army Flight Training Detachment to conduct high-end training for RSAF air and ground crew operating the AH-64D Apache helicopter, including complex air-land training in realistic and challenging environments. Conducting training in overseas detachments such as PV allows the RSAF to overcome Singapore's airspace constraints, as well as gain access to high-end training ranges and facilities to sharpen operational capabilities.
Speaking at the event, Mr Heng said, "Since its inauguration in 2003, PV detachment has achieved many remarkable milestones… With nearly 40,000 flight hours under its belt and regular access to the highly advanced Orchard Combat Training Center (OCTC) range complex in Boise, Idaho, the detachment has continually pushed operational boundaries in unleashing precise and responsive firepower while innovating to develop new tactics against a growing range of surface and air threats. Over the years, Peace Vanguard has also showcased its operational excellence when it participated in many high-end, realistic training exercises… Such opportunities are invaluable for maintaining a high-level of collaboration, interoperability and readiness."
As part of the celebrations, SMS Heng unveiled memorabilia signifying the 20 years of training conducted at PV detachment, and the detachment's commitment to continued mission success. The event was also witnessed by senior officers from the U.S. Army as well as key members of the local US communities.
In addition to PV, other overseas training detachments in the US include the Peace Carvin V detachment with the F-15SG fighter aircraft, and the Peace Carvin II detachment with the F-16 fighter aircraft. These detachments in the US offer vast training airspace and challenging operational environments for RSAF air and ground crew to sharpen their competencies and enhance their operational readiness. The RSAF and the Unites States Air Force also interact regularly through exercises such as the Red Flag series of exercises, as well as visits and professional exchanges, which deepen the excellent and long-standing ties between the two air forces.