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Guam Provides Extensive Training Area to Singapore’s F-15SG – Analysts

The Ministry of Defence of Singapore asserts that the deployment of military detachments outside the country is crucial to meet the training requirements of the Singapore Air Force, addressing constraints posed by local airspace limitations and facilitating the conduct of high-quality and realistic training exercises.

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(DEFENCE SECURITY ASIA) — The United States Air Force has announced its intention to enhance the infrastructure at its Andersen Air Force Base in Guam to permanently accommodate a detachment of 12 F-15SG fighter aircraft belonging to the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF), along with various supporting equipment.

The effort to improve infrastructure at the United States’ key Pacific airbase to house the Singapore Air Force detachment aligns with Washington’s strategic initiatives in the Indo-Pacific region.

 This move is also consistent with the agreement signed in 2019 between Singapore’s Minister of Defense, Dr. Ng Eng Hen, and the then United States Secretary of Defense, Mark Esper, regarding the permanent stationing of the Singapore Air Force fighter aircraft detachment on the island.

For analysts, the prospect of permanently stationing the Singapore Air Force fighter aircraft detachment provides opportunities for access to the vast airspace and waters around Guam.

Dr. Collin Koh, a senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore, noted, “The establishment of the F-15SG fighter aircraft detachment in Guam will enable the Singapore Air Force to access extensive training areas in the airspace and waters around Guam.”

“Additionally, the Singapore Navy maintains training ties with Guam through the Pacific Griffin Exercise, which holds the potential to contribute to the overall development of the Singapore Armed Forces’ capabilities for joint warfare,” stated Dr. Collin Koh to the Singapore Straits Times recently.

Guam
Singapore’s F-15SG at Andersen Air Base, Guam. (DVIDS)

 

He further emphasized that the proximity of Guam and Singapore facilitates logistical advantages, allowing the Singapore Air Force to expedite the return of its fighter aircraft to Singapore during emergencies and reduce the need for extensive support aircraft like refuelling aircraft for fighters.

Guam, located approximately 4,700 km from Singapore, is significantly closer than the United States’ Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho, which is around 13,700 km from Singapore, where the RSAF has had an F-15SG training detachment since 2009.

 The Singapore Air Force has previously deployed F-15SG fighter aircraft to the American airbase in Guam for training purposes.

The Ministry of Defence of Singapore asserts that the deployment of military detachments outside the country is crucial to meet the training requirements of the Singapore Air Force, addressing constraints posed by local airspace limitations and facilitating the conduct of high-quality and realistic training exercises.

Singapore, faced with limited land and airspace, has entered defense agreements with several countries, including Australia, Brunei, and the United States, to station its military units for training purposes.

Dr. Collin also highlighted that the closer proximity between Guam and Singapore allows for more efficient logistics, benefiting the Singapore Air Force in emergency situations.

Guam
Singapore’s G550 in Guam. (via internet)

 

In a recent statement released by Andersen Air Force Base in Guam, it was mentioned that the proposed enhancement of infrastructure to accommodate Singapore’s fighter aircraft will be implemented in the northern section of the airbase, adjacent to the ammunition storage facility.

The construction of the proposed infrastructure enhancements in Guam is expected to take between three to seven years, covering aspects such as runway expansion, aircraft hangar construction, maintenance and utility buildings, fueling systems, fencing, and various other facilities.

The construction project will span an area of 85 hectares.

As of now, Singapore possesses 40 F-15SG fighter aircraft, acquired progressively since 2005.

In previous instances, the Singapore Air Force stationed F-15SG and F-16 fighter aircraft, along with its G550 early warning aircraft, in Guam for up to two months for joint training exercises with the United States Air Force.

Andersen
Andersen Air Base in Guam.

Guam

Guam, situated in the western Pacific Ocean, serves as a critical forward operating base for the United States military in the Pacific, playing a crucial role in supporting power projection by Washington and its allies in the Indo-Pacific region.

The island of Guam is part of the Northern Mariana chain of islands in the central Pacific and is an unincorporated territory of the US. — DSA

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