The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) celebrated 30 years of flight training at its detachment in Pearce, Australia, this morning. Held at Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Pearce, the 30th Anniversary Celebrations were attended by Senior Minister of State for Defence Mr Zaqy Mohamad, Australian Chief of Air Force Air Marshall Robert Chipman, key members of the local community, and RSAF and RAAF personnel. Mr Zaqy’s visit to the RSAF’s Pearce Detachment was hosted by Chief of Air Force, Major-General Kelvin Khong and Commander of the RSAF’s Air Force Training Command, Colonel Liew Boon Ping. During his visit, Mr Zaqy toured the training facilities at RAAF Base Pearce, where the detachment is based, witnessed the unveiling of the 30th anniversary commemorative plaque by both CAFs, unveiled the anniversary tail flash, and viewed a combined flypast by the RSAF’s and the RAAF’s PC-21 trainer aircraft and the RAAF’s Hawk 127 lead-in fighter aircraft. He also interacted with RSAF personnel based in Pearce and thanked them for their service.
Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Zaqy thanked the Australian Government and the RAAF for their long-standing support for the RSAF’s training in Pearce. He said, “The 30th anniversary milestone is a strong symbol of the deep and long-standing friendship between Australia and Singapore, and our armed forces. The flying training we conduct in Australia is very important to the RSAF, because Singapore is a small country with limited airspace… Please allow me to express Singapore’s appreciation for the strong support that the RSAF has received from our local communities here, and of course, for welcoming us into your midst and for the warm hospitality that you have extended to our personnel – not just for now, but for the last 30 years.”
The 130 Squadron in Pearce Detachment conducts the nine-month Basic Wings Course for the RSAF’s Pilot and Weapon Systems Officer (Fighter) trainees. The trainees operate the PC-21 aircraft, an advanced tandem-seat turboprop aircraft trainer that allows trainees to build a strong foundation in flying fundamentals. The detachment’s Standards Squadron also conducts courses for the RSAF’s flying instructors. In addition, the RSAF conducts flying training at the Air Grading Centre in Jandakot, Western Australia, and has a CH-47 helicopter detachment at the Australian Army Aviation Centre in Oakey, Queensland. These overseas training opportunities enable the RSAF to overcome the land and airspace constraints in Singapore. The RSAF and RAAF interact regularly through other mutually beneficial engagements, bilateral and multilateral exercises such as Exercise Churinga and Exercise Pitch Black, professional exchanges, and cross-attendance of courses. These interactions continue to enhance the interoperability and deepen the rapport between the personnel of both air forces.