Singapore and Malaysian air forces hold third annual search-and-rescue exercise

An RSAF sergeant on board a Super Puma that was taking part in Search-and-Rescue Exercise (Sarex) Malsing with the Royal Malaysian Air Force. PHOTO: THE REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE AIR FORCE/FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - The air forces of Singapore and Malaysia have held their annual joint field training exercise that focuses on aerial search-and-rescue (SAR) missions and medical evacuation operations.

The training exercises promote cooperation in areas of mutual interest and foster professional interactions between both air forces, said the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) on Friday (Oct 1).

In its third edition, Search-and-Rescue Exercise (Sarex) Malsing was held from Wednesday to Friday.

It included a virtual tabletop exercise and a field training exercise conducted without physical contact between personnel from both air forces.

Participants exchanged knowledge on SAR operations and discussed procedures for combined missions through video teleconference, said Mindef.

A Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) AS332M Super Puma helicopter and a Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) EC725 helicopter participated in a joint aerial search and medical evacuation operations, based on a simulated aerial mishap scenario.

Speaking at the Sarex Malsing virtual opening on Thursday, Singapore's Chief of Air Force Kelvin Khong said: "Malaysia's and Singapore's geographical proximity presents the opportunity for both air forces to coordinate and to maximise our combined abilities to carry out SAR operations safely and expeditiously."

Major-General Khong added: "The need for search and rescue has not diminished with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, and it is critical that our air forces establish and keep our mutually agreeable processes and principles warm to ensure mission success."

Besides Sarex Malsing, the RSAF and RMAF also participate regularly in multilateral activities under the ambit of the Five Power Defence Arrangements, a defence pact between Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand and Britain.

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