A Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) fighter detachment will shortly arrive in the Northern Territory ahead of air combat exercises at Delamere Air Weapons Range and Bradshaw Field Training Area next month.
FILE PHOTO: Republic of Singapore Air Force personnel work on RAAF Base Darwin’s flightline during Exercise Pitch Black 2014. Photo by Corporal David Said.
After a period of strict quarantine, around 200 RSAF personnel will use Australian training areas for flying training, which includes live weapons employment, from 7 October to 11 December.
Singaporean units will include No. 149 Squadron flying F-15SG aircraft, No. 112 Squadron with a multi-role tanker transport (MRTT) aircraft and No. 111 Squadron with a G550 airborne early warning (AEW) aircraft.
Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said the deployment demonstrated Australia’s close defence partnership with Singapore.
“After careful planning and preparations undertaken by both Australia and Singapore to minimise any potential COVID-19 risks to the Northern Territory, I am pleased we will be able to welcome the detachment from Singapore,” Minister Reynolds said.
“The arrival of the RSAF’s fighter detachment to conduct training in the Northern Territory underlines the strength of the Australia-Singapore partnership and our shared commitment to regional security.
“Singapore’s military training in Australia is an important element of our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.
“It supports Singapore’s ability to generate a force that provides strategic weight and supports stability in our region.
“These training exercises will see RSAF personnel frequenting businesses in the local community, providing welcome economic opportunities for the Top End.”
Each member of the RSAF will undergo seven days self-isolation and undertake a COVID-19 test 48 hours before arrival in Australia, before undertaking a further 14 days quarantine at specially prepared hotel accommodation in the Darwin area that will be secured and managed by the Australian Defence Force.
All RSAF personnel will be re-tested at the conclusion of the quarantine period.
These measures are consistent with the successful arrangements in place in support of the US Marine Rotational Force – Darwin.
“This detachment has been able to proceed, with all the necessary protections related to COVID-19, because of the excellent cooperation between the Singapore Armed Forces, the Australian government and the Northern Territory government,” Minister Reynolds said.