The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) has concluded its participation in Exercise Red Flag – Nellis. The exercise, hosted by the United States Air Force (USAF), was held at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, United States from 9 to 20 Mar 2021. The RSAF deployed 10 F-15SG fighter aircraft and over 140 personnel from its Peace Carvin (PC) V detachment in Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, to participate alongside over 90 foreign aircraft, including the USAF’s F-35 fighter aircraft and a dedicated F-16 fighter aircraft adversarial force from the USAF’s 64th Aggressor Squadron, and over 2500 participants from the US, Sweden and the NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Force Squadron located in Germany. Exercise Red Flag – Nellis, a large-scale air combat exercise, is designed to enhance the combat readiness and operational competencies of participating air forces through a series of realistic and challenging air-to-air and air-to-ground training missions. The RSAF clinched the “Outstanding Maintenance Unit” award at the exercise this year.
Highlighting the significance of the RSAF’s participation, Lieutenant Colonel Shewan Goh, RSAF’s PC V Detachment Commander, said, “The exercise is an invaluable opportunity for our airmen and women to hone their competencies by training against a dedicated adversarial force employing advanced tactics and electronic warfare. I am glad to say that our RSAF team performed well when benchmarked against the other air forces, testament to our high operational standards. Stringent safe management measures for COVID-19 such as mask-wearing, safe-distancing and cohorting to limit physical interaction with other exercise participants were put in place to ensure that our personnel can train safely. We are thankful to the USAF for hosting the exercise and look forward to future opportunities to train together.”
ME1 Geraldine Tan, who was part of the Air Force Engineer team that received the “Outstanding Maintenance Unit” award, said, “I am honoured to be part of the team that received this award, as it is testament to our high standards and efforts to keep our aircraft in top condition throughout the exercise.”
Lieutenant Colonel Eric Gorney, the USAF’s 64th Aggressor Squadron Commander said, “The RSAF has displayed exceptional tactics and competencies during this exercise. They have proven themselves to be on par with other advanced air forces and hit the targets they were assigned. I’m impressed with the skills and performance they have brought to the table. It is important for us to continue to hone our cooperation and strengthen our relationship through such exercises.”
Exercise Red Flag – Nellis underscores the excellent and long-standing defence relationship between Singapore and the US. It also enhances professionalism and cooperation amongst participating forces, and provides the RSAF with an opportunity to benchmark itself against other leading air forces. Exercise Red Flag is a two-week advanced aerial combat training exercise held several times a year by the United States Air Force. It aims to offer realistic air-combat training for military pilots and other flight crew members from the United States and allied countries. Red Flag exercises are conducted under the control of the United States Air Force Warfare Center (USAFWC) at Nellis. They are run by the 414th Combat Training Squadron (414 CTS) of the 57th Wing (57 WG). They use “enemy” hardware and live ammunition for bombing exercises within the adjacent Nevada Test and Training Range (NTTR).