The Royal Australian Air Force’s F-35A Lightning II made its debut in Singapore, visiting Paya Lebar Air Base late last month.
CAPTION: RAAF F-35A Lightning II and RSAF, F-16 Fighting Falcon and F-15SG Strike Eagle aircraft above Singapore. Story by Flight Lieutenant Bronwyn Marchant.
Personnel from 75 Squadron trained alongside their Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) counterparts in the air and on the ground, further enhancing the bilateral relationship while integrating 4th- and 5th-generation fighter aircraft.
Commanding Officer of 75 Squadron Wing Commander Martin Parker said continuing to integrate the F-35A with regional partners was an important part of the Royal Australian Air Force’s preparedness.
“RAAF’s relationship with the RSAF is strong and underpinned by regular exercise engagements and close professional relationships at all levels,” Wing Commander Parker said.
“The F-35A’s debut visit to Singapore enables our aviators to continue to develop these close relationships and our air forces’ interoperability.
“We had the opportunity to fly the F-35A alongside the RSAF’s F-15SG Strike Eagles and F-16 Fighting Falcons during the dissimilar air combat training, building mutual understanding and teaching us how to better operate together in the region.
CAPTION: RAAF F-35A Lightning II and RSAF, F-16 Fighting Falcon and F-15SG Strike Eagle aircraft fly in formation over Singapore.
“It’s been our absolute pleasure to bring the F-35A to Singapore and we look forward to increasing the frequency of these invaluable interactions.”
The bilateral engagements also involved aviator-to-aviator discussions during a fighter symposium hosted by RSAF’s 142 Squadron.
The talks aimed to give RSAF a more in-depth understanding of the logistical and maintenance requirements of operating the F-35 platform.
CAPTION: RAAF 75 Squadron and RSAF 142 Squadron personnel during a bilateral fighter symposium. Photo by Leading Aircraftman Adam Abela.
Commanding Officer 142 Squadron Lieutenant Colonel Max Ng said the fighter symposium and professional interactions gave the air forces the chance to share unique operational experiences and identify more areas for combined training.
“We gained valuable insights into the F-35 operations, how it could enhance our operational capabilities and be integrated into the RSAF’s warfighting systems,” Lieutenant Colonel Ng said.
“The air combat training was valuable for everyone to push our skills, our aircraft and ourselves to the limit.”
CONTACT believes RAAF is deliberately dropping ‘Royal Australian’ from its name – despite Defence assuring us it isn’t true. Campaigning against this name-change-by-stealth, CONTACT has appropriately ‘repaired’ several references in this official story. See here for more details