15 Desember 2010

Singapore, Indian Air Forces in Joint Training

15 Desember 2010

The RSAF's F-16 and the IAF's Mig-27 fighter aircraft flying together during a training sortie. (all photos : Mindef)

Training overseas under different climatic and operating conditions can be both a challenge as well as an exciting learning experience.

For participants from the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF), a 17-day Joint Military Training (JMT) with the Indian Air Force (IAF) provided just that.

Held at Kalaikunda Air Force Station, India, from 2 to 16 Dec, the training involves the RSAF's F-16C/D fighter aircraft, RBS-70 fire unit and Portable Search and Target Acquisition Radar, together with the IAF's MiG-27 fighters.

GBAD personnel performing RBS-70 anti-aircraft engagements in defence of the airfield during training.

Commenting on the value of such training, Lieutenant Colonel Adrian Toh, the RSAF's JMT Detachment Commander, said: "Our men have benefited from learning to operate in a foreign environment, especially in situations that may lie outside their comfort zones, such as cold weather, air traffic control procedures designed for other aircraft, as well as differences in operating norms.

"These challenges test the maturity and mental fortitude of the men, and I'm confident that we will finish the deployment with good experiential learning."

For fighter pilot Captain Ray Lee from the RSAF's 143 Squadron, the experience has been an eye-opener. "The huge airspace allows good training for all the pilots, and the weather here - low-level clouds - is something that we do not face often back in Singapore," he explained.

Apart from honing their skills and enhancing the interoperability of both air forces, the training has helped to build strong bonds among the servicemen.

The P-STAR Radar used to detect aircraft movements.

Said Major (MAJ) (NS) Victor Tan: "We've had many interactions with the India air defence officers, and it was a great opportunity to learn and share knowledge and practices through these exchanges."

Beyond professional exchanges, many of the RSAF personnel also forged personal friendships with their IAF counterparts through sports, games and social gatherings such as dinners and birthday celebrations.

"During our spare time, we play friendly matches of games like soccer, basketball and badminton with the IAF personnel," said MAJ (NS) Tan, the Ground Based Air Defence (GBAD) Deputy Detachment Commander. "The strong camaraderie among us is definitely something that will be a lasting memory for me."

JMT 2010 is conducted under the Bilateral Agreement for the Conduct of Joint Military Training and Exercises in India between the RSAF and the IAF, which was signed in October 2007.

Besides joint training, the warm defence ties between the two air forces are regularly strengthened by the conduct of visits, cross-attendance of courses and other professional exchange programmes.


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