RSAF taking part in Canadian air combat drills

Eight of the RSAF's F-16C/D fighter aircraft and about 100 personnel from its Peace Carvin II detachment in Arizona are participating in Exercise Maple Flag, alongside the air forces of Canada, France, Britain and the US.
Eight of the RSAF's F-16C/D fighter aircraft and about 100 personnel from its Peace Carvin II detachment in Arizona are participating in Exercise Maple Flag, alongside the air forces of Canada, France, Britain and the US.PHOTO: MINISTRY OF DEFENCE

The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) is participating in a large-scale multilateral air combat exercise with Canada, France, Britain and the United States, Singapore's Ministry of Defence said yesterday.

Hosted by the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), Exercise Maple Flag began last Monday and is being conducted at the Canadian Forces Base Cold Lake in Alberta.

This year's participants include more than 60 aircraft and about 2,000 air force personnel.

Eight of the RSAF's F-16C/D fighter aircraft and about 100 personnel from its Peace Carvin II detachment in the US state of Arizona are participating in the exercise.

Mindef said in a statement the RSAF team will "operate with the other air forces and pit their capabilities against live and simulated threats using the latest in tactics, weaponry and technology".

It added that the large airspace and realistic threat environment in the exercise provides valuable training for the RSAF to hone its air-to- air and air-to-surface competencies.

"The complexity of the exercise allows our team of air and ground crew to hone our combat skills while benchmarking ourselves against other advanced air forces," said Lieutenant-Colonel Stanley Meng Huat Selva, the RSAF Detachment Commander for Exercise Maple Flag. "In having to work together with other air forces in this exercise, the interoperability is also enhanced."

As part of the exercise, the RSAF also participated in the RCAF Open Day with an F-16 on static display earlier on Sunday, Mindef said.

Exercise Maple Flag will end on Friday.

According to Mindef, the exercise was first hosted by the RCAF in 1978. Over the years, it has grown in scope and complexity and transformed in response to the existing security environment. The exercise also serves to enhance mutual understanding and build bonds among the participating air forces.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 19, 2017, with the headline 'RSAF taking part in Canadian air combat drills'. Print Edition | Subscribe