RSAF deploys fighter jets to Guam for two-month training detachment

The RSAF said a team of airmen and women would be deployed to Andersen Air Force Base on Guam for two months. PHOTO: THE REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE AIR FORCE/FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - The Republic of Singapore Air Force's (RSAF's) F-15SG and F-16 fighter jets, as well as its G550 airborne early warning aircraft, have been deployed to the United States territory of Guam for a two-month training detachment.

In a Facebook post on Monday (May 24), the RSAF said a team of airmen and women have been deployed to Andersen Air Force Base on the US island territory and will hone their professional competencies in the coming days.

They will also be training with the US Navy's VAQ 132 squadron, it added. The US squadron operates the EA-18G Growler electronic warfare aircraft.

The RSAF said that necessary health and safety precautions have been put in place in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.

They include pre-departure restriction of movement, pre- and post-deployment swab tests, and adhering to the US' measures to minimise risk of Covid-19 transmission.

"This training opportunity in Guam is testament to the trust and cooperation between our armed forces, as well as the excellent and longstanding bilateral defence relations between Singapore and the US," added the post.

The RSAF has continued to seek overseas training opportunities, even with global travel restrictions due to the pandemic.

In October last year, some 200 RSAF servicemen trained for two months in the airspace surrounding the Royal Australian Air Force's Base Darwin.

The RSAF first deployed fighter aircraft to the Andersen Air Force Base for joint training with the US Pacific Air Force in 2017.

The US base is also where a future RSAF fighter detachment will be housed.

In December 2019, then US Secretary of Defence Mark Esper and Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen signed an agreement for the RSAF to set up a detachment there, which is expected to be done by 2029.

In a separate Facebook post, Dr Ng said that the deployment will allow airmen and women to use the vast training airspace around Guam to conduct larger-scale training to hone their professional competencies.

"Our thanks to the United States Air Force and the US Indo-Pacific Command for providing us with this valuable opportunity," he added.

Join ST's WhatsApp Channel and get the latest news and must-reads.