May 30, 2008 (by SrA Dana Hill) - Enhancing interoperability and allied war fighting lethality are just a few of the aims for Kunsan Air Base airmen currently mobilized to the Republic of Singapore.
USAF F-16C block 40 #88-0543 & F-16D block 40 #90-0791 from the 80th FS fly a training mission over the South Korean on February 20th, 2008. [USAF photo by TSgt. Quinton T. Burris]
More than 22 F-16 Fighting Falcon pilots and maintainers from the 80th Fighter Squadron are wrapping up a 10 day air-to-air training exercise, Commando Sling, which is being hosted by the Republic of Singapore
"Commando Sling is an air-to-air training exercise hosted by the Republic of Singapore Air Force. It fulfills the intent of a 1990 memorandum of understanding between the United States and Singapore," said Maj. Brian MacFarlane, 80th Fighter Squadron assistant director of operations.
Approximately 88 sorties are being flown with six aircrafts and 77 personnel. Other airframes involved are Republic of Singapore F-5 and Block52 F-16.
Major McFarlane said the RSAF
and USAF benefit from dissimilar air to air combat training with F-16s and F-5s.
"Interoperability with our allies is the primary reason for us to be involved in exercises like this one," Major McFarlane said. "Personally, the opportunity to fly against dissimilar aircraft is very valuable."
According to base officials, the exercise is sponsored by U.S. Pacific Command.
The goals for Commando Sling are to sustain and enhance combat training and interoperability between air components of the U.S. and the Republic of Singapore Air Forces, and promote regional security and stability in the Asia-Pacific area.