Singapore-Indonesia Leaders’ Retreat

Bilateral ties go sky-high

Fighter jets from the Singapore and Indonesia air forces in a joint fly-past yesterday to commemorate 50 years of diplomatic ties between the two nations. The combined fly-past was the largest and most complex one that the Republic of Singapore Air F
Fighter jets from the Singapore and Indonesia air forces in a joint fly-past yesterday to commemorate 50 years of diplomatic ties between the two nations. The combined fly-past was the largest and most complex one that the Republic of Singapore Air Force has conducted with any foreign air force to date.ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

Twenty fighter jets cut through the Marina South skyline in the shape of the numeral "50" yesterday, capping off one of the highlights of the golden jubilee celebrations between Singapore and Indonesia.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Indonesian President Joko Widodo were at the Marina Bay Cruise Centre to witness the fly-past, which was conducted by the air forces from both sides to mark 50 years of diplomatic relations between the two neighbours.

The combined fly-past was the largest and most complex one that the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) has conducted with any foreign air force to date.

Building on the strong defence ties, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen also announced a new exercise yesterday between the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and Indonesia's armed forces (TNI).

Called the SAF-TNI Counter-Terrorism Table Top Exercise, it will take place from Nov 27 to 30.

In a Facebook post, Dr Ng also said the combined celebrations "reflect the strong defence ties forged through years of engagement and cooperation against common challenges".

After the fly-past, four of the participating RSAF F-16s landed in Roesmin Nurjadin Air Force Base in Pekanbaru, Indonesia.

RSAF Chief of Air Force Mervyn Tan, who was on board one of the RSAF aircraft in the fly-past, said in Pekanbaru: "I think the fly-past really is a testament to the skill as well as the professionalism of the pilots of both our air forces.

"But more important than that, I think it underscored the trust and mutual understanding between the personnel of both our air forces."

His counterpart, Chief of Staff of the TNI-AUHadi Tjahjanto, who was on board one of the Indonesian F-16s, said: "I believe the military cooperation between TNI-AU and the RSAF will be everlasting, and we will always support each other."

The RSAF and TNI-AU started having exercises together in 1980. Since then, they have engaged in a wide range of exercises and activities such as visits, professional exchanges and cross-attendance of courses.

VIDEO

Fly-past marks Singapore-Indonesia golden jubilee. str.sg/4Vqt

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 08, 2017, with the headline 'Bilateral ties go sky-high'. Print Edition | Subscribe