Flight affirms friendship

What started as a casual conversation at the 2023 RAAF Base Pearce end of year function turned into a unique opportunity for the Commanding Officer of 130 Squadron Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF), Lieutenant Colonel Goh Seow Hong, when he was offered a flight in a 79 Squadron Hawk 127.

CAPTIONCommanding Officer 130 Squadron Republic of Singapore Air Force, Lieutenant Colonel Goh Seow Hong in a Hawk 127. Story and photos by Flying Officer Michael Thomas.

Lieutenant Colonel Hong said he had not flown in a fast jet since posting to the RSAF Pearce Detachment, but felt right at home in the Hawk.

“The power and handling of the aircraft were amazing and really suitable for fast jet-training,” Lieutenant Colonel Hong said.

“The flight also allowed me to gain a better understanding of 79 Squadron’s operations and I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to Wing Commander Taylor for providing me the opportunity to experience the Hawk 127 firsthand.”

Commanding Officer 79 Squadron Wing Commander Grant Taylor said this flight was a by-product of the close relationship the RAAF Base Pearce commanding officers have.

“We share the base, airspace and facilities at Pearce and have done so for 30 years, so this is an extension of an on-going partnership both countries have for training Defence pilots,” Wing Commander Taylor said.

“We worked out that we’ve all been on exercises at the same time over the years as junior pilots and had fond memories of those ‘bograt’ days growing up and learning.”

Lieutenant Colonel Hong said the flight underscored the close and long-standing relationship between the RSAF and RAAF.

“Flying on board a RAAF aircraft not only reaffirms the strong relationship between our air forces, but also fosters personal connections among our personnel,” Lieutenant Colonel Hong said.

“Such gestures are not commonplace and are typically reserved for close and trusted friends.”

The RSAF Pearce Detachment celebrated 30 years of flying operations at RAAF Base Pearce in October last year, and recently resumed the Qualified Flying Instructor exchange program with 2 Flying Training School in January.

CAPTIONWing Commander Grant Taylor and Lieutenant Colonel Goh Seow Hong in front of a Hawk 127.


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