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Luke AFB, RSAF celebrate 30 years of partnership

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Katelynn Jackson
  • 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

The 425th Fighter Squadron celebrated 30 years of partnership between the U.S. Air Force and Republic of Singapore Air Force with a parade ceremony, April 25, 2023, at Luke AFB, Arizona.

Established in 1993, the 425th FS, also referred to as Peace Carvin II, is the longest operating overseas detachment for the RSAF.

Clocking in over 75,000 hours of flying time, the 425th FS participates in large force employment exercises that simulate challenging operational environments, such as the large combat training exercise Red Flag held annually at Nellis AFB, Nevada. This allows RSAF to enhance their airspace capabilities and operational readiness.

“The 425th FS trains daily on high-end tactical employment,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Robert Hilby, 425th FS commander. “We have recently upgraded six of our F-16s, improving our combat capabilities and allowing us to train against more advanced threats.”

The National Defense Strategy identifies the Indo-Pacific region as a priority theater. The Department of Defense regularly collaborates with partners in the Indo-Pacific region on training and resources. 

“Though this training is conducted at the tactical level, the cumulative efforts over three decades have made a profound strategic impact for both Singapore and the U.S.” said Hilby. “We have the shared goal to bolster peace and stability throughout the Indo-Pacific region.  The achievements of the 425th have been made possible by the countless men, women, and families of the 425th that have executed and supported the Peace Carvin II mission over the past 30 years.”

Training missions that integrate Airmen with international partners contribute to Luke AFB’s goal of training combat-ready Airmen that can cooperate in potential future exercises.

“I’d like to express our deep appreciation to the U.S. government and the U.S. Air Force for your wonderful support and partnership,” said Heng Chee How, Republic of Singapore senior minister of state, during a speech at the parade ceremony.

Following his speech, How performed a ceremonial inspection of the 425th FS personnel and witnessed the unveiling of the memorial tail flashes on the RSAF F-16 Fighting Falcons.

Both tails were completed over the course of four weeks by 12 members of the 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron’s corrosion control team.

“This operation impacted us differently than our previous projects due to how big of an impact we were making on behalf of the U.S. and its relationship with Singapore,” said U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Eric Olsen, 56th EMS non-commissioned officer in charge of corrosion control. “Applying these designs was the epitome of what the 30th anniversary stood for; a strong bilateral relationship between the two nations.”

The event was also witnessed by key USAF and RSAF leadership, including U.S. Air Force International Affairs Deputy Under Secretary Kelli Seybolt, and Republic of Singapore Chief of Air Force Maj. Gen Kelvin Khong.

The Singapore Armed Forces Central Band was in attendance, performing at the parade and throughout the week of celebrations to commemorate the relationship between the USAF and the RSAF. These performances included one open to the local community and hosted in the city of Goodyear, Arizona, and a separate performance at Luke AFB for USAF and RSAF personnel.

“This is our way of thanking you,” said Republic of Singapore Armed Forces ME4 Ignatius Wang, SAF Central Band director of music, during a performance at the base theatre. “Not only on behalf of the Singapore Air Force, but also on behalf of Singapore.” 

Celebrating 30 years of shared responsibility for training F-16 pilots and maintenance personnel, the 56th Fighter Wing is committed to sustaining and elevating the long-standing partnerships between Luke AFB and international partners.