Singapore, Malaysian air forces hold drills on search and rescue

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 yesterday.

The three-day exercise, which ends today, 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 interoperability 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 interoperability 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 said: "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.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 27, 2018, with the headline 'S'pore, Malaysian air forces hold drills on search and rescue'. Print Edition | Subscribe