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PACAF commander celebrates Singapore's 20th anniversary at Luke

December 18, 2013 (by SSgt. Luther Mitchell Jr) - The commander of Pacific Air Forces visited Luke Air Force Base December 11 and 12, observing the Republic of Singapore's exercise Forging Sabre. The exercise and visit also coincided with the Singaporean air force's 20th anniversary at Luke.

Gen. Hawk Carlisle (left), PACAF commander, and Maj. Gen. Hoo Cher Mou, RSAF chief of air forces, shake hands after unveiling two newly-painted F-16 tail flashes following the Peace Carvin II Parade on December 11th, 2013. The painted tail flashes commemorate the 20th anniversary of the RSAF partnering with Luke AFB in training fighter pilots. [USAF photo by SSgt. Luther Mitchell Jr.]

Gen. Hawk Carlisle met with Maj. Gen. Hoo Cher MoU, Chief of the Singapore Air Force, and participated in a day of celebration. The day started off with an office call at the Wigwam Resort, then a parade at the 425th Fighter Squadron and ended with an anniversary dinner hosted by the Republic of Singapore air force.

"It's a great honor to be here for this historic event," Carlisle said to packed house of more than 300 people at a celebration dinner Dec. 11. "This day marks a significant milestone in the relationship between the USAF and the RSAF."

Attendees from the United States also included Ms. Heidi Grant, Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force for International Affairs, and Maj. Gen. Michael Keltz, Air Education and Training Command director of intelligence, operations and nuclear integration. Other representatives from Singapore included Dr. Ng Eng Hen, the country's minister of defense and Dr. Lim Wee Kiak, Singapore member of parliament.

During the parade, Dr. Ng Eng Hen inspected the RSAF parade and gave comments, highlighting the continuing benefits their partnership has enjoyed over the last 20 years.

At the end of the parade, Carlisle and Hoo unveiled the newly-painted tail flashes of USAF and RSAF F-16s, painted to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Peace Carvin II, the RSAF F-16 detachment which provides pilots with continuation training in F-16A/B.

Later that night at the anniversary dinner, Carlisle spoke on the partnership that the two countries have enjoyed over the years.

"I'm proud that Peace Carvin II has been a part of RSAF's transformation, enabling quality for the RSAF for the past 20 years," Carlisle said. "From bilateral engagements such as Commando Sling, to full scale multilateral exercises such as Red Flag, the RSAF has been a staunch supporter of high fidelity training with the United States for almost a quarter of a century. Incredibly impressive."

During the dinner, Hoo also remarked on the importance of Peace Carvin II adding that he was honored to be at Luke celebrating this milestone between the United States Air Force and Republic of Singapore air force.

"I'm truly delighted, honored and proud to be at Luke Air Force Base today to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Peace Carvin II program," Hoo said. "Peace Carvin II is the Republic of Singapore air force's longest running detachment in the United States and it has been remarkable through the years. 20 years of forging operational excellence for F-16 pilots and engineers, the detachment is a true testament to the close and long standing relationship between the United States Air force and the Republic of Singapore air force."

Exercise Forging Sabre provides the Singapore armed forces an opportunity to exercise and train their full spectrum of command, control and execution.

This year's exercise is the fourth in the series, which began in 2005. During exercise Forging Sabre, leadership from both countries travelled to Gila Bend in a CH-47 Chinook, where they observed bombing of dynamic targets on the Barry M. Goldwater bombing range.

From the command post, Col. John Hanna, 56th Operations Group commander and RSAF personnel watched the bombings on screen. F-15s, F-16s and AH-64 Apaches dropped guided bomb unit-12s, Mark 84 bombs and rockets before returning to Luke.

The week of celebration highlights the partnership the USAF and the RSAF have enjoyed over the last 20 years.

"We look forward to many more years, many more decades of this kind of friendship and relationship," Carlisle said. "It represents the best of both worlds."

Courtesy of 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Additional images:

Leadership from the USAF and RSAF pose for a group photo in front of two F-16s with newly painted tail flashes on December 11th, 2013 at Luke AFB during the Peace Carvin II Parade. The event commemorated the RSAF’s 20 years of partnership with the USAF at Luke AFB. [USAF photo by SSgt. Luther Mitchell Jr.]