Singapore and Malaysian air forces conducting new bilateral exercise on search and rescue

Chief of Air Force Major-General (MG) Mervyn Tan (left) and Chief of the RMAF General (GEN) Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Hj Affendi bin Buang co-officiating at the opening ceremony of Sarex Malsing on April 25, 2018.
Chief of Air Force Major-General (MG) Mervyn Tan (left) and Chief of the RMAF General (GEN) Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Hj Affendi bin Buang co-officiating at the opening ceremony of Sarex Malsing on April 25, 2018.PHOTO: MINDEF
The RMAF exercise participants receiving a brief on the AS332 Super Puma’s role in search-and-rescue operations.
The RMAF exercise participants receiving a brief on the AS332 Super Puma’s role in search-and-rescue operations.PHOTO: MINDEF

SINGAPORE - The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) is conducting a new bilateral exercise with the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF).

The first edition of the exercise series, called the Search-and-Rescue Exercise (Sarex) Malsing, is a Command Post Exercise that is being held at the Multinational Operations and Exercises Centre in the Changi Command and Control Centre, the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) said in a statement on Thursday (April 26).

The three-day exercise, which will end on Friday, provides search and rescue (SAR) planners from both air forces with an opportunity to exchange professional knowledge on SAR operations, discuss tactical procedures for combined SAR missions, and plan a simulated combined mission, with the aim of enhancing cooperation and inter-operability between the two forces.

Chief of Air Force Mervyn Tan, who was officiating at the Sarex Malsing opening ceremony on Wednesday with his Malaysian counterpart, General Affendi Buang, said the exercise represented another significant step forward in the building of strong bilateral defence ties.

"This exercise serves as an excellent platform to enhance the inter-operability between our air forces, through professional exchanges of our respective SAR practices. More importantly, it promotes cooperation, trust and mutual understanding among our people, which will further strengthen our friendship moving forward," he said.

Underscoring the close and longstanding defence relationship, Gen Affendi added: "I am fully confident that Sarex Malsing is a platform that shall benefit both air forces significantly in coordinating future bilateral activities and will be a testimony to the long-established friendship and camaraderie between the RMAF and the RSAF.

"I envisage great potential for this exercise and hope that it shall act as a catalyst for the evolution towards further cooperation and new avenues of bilateral activities, especially considering the current security challenges within our region."

The RSAF and the RMAF interact regularly across a wide range of activities, including bilateral visits and professional exchanges, as well as multilateral activities under the ambit of the Five Power Defence Arrangements, a series of defence relationships between the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Singapore.