SINGAPORE: The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) said on Thursday (Oct 8) it has deployed aircraft and personnel to Australia for a two-month detachment from Oct 7 to Dec 11.
Around 200 RSAF personnel - along with RSAF's F-15SGs, A330-Multi-Role Tanker Transport, and G550 Airborne Early Warning aircraft - will be stationed at Royal Australian Air Force Base Darwin during the course of the detachment.
Realistic and high-end training will be conducted during the training stint while observing COVID-19 safety precautions, RSAF said in a Facebook post.
"During the detachment, the RSAF will implement strict safety precautions such as pre- and post-deployment isolation and swab tests, and will ensure that our personnel also abide by Australia’s health and safety measures to minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission," it said.
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Despite the COVID-19 outbreak, the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) must still maintain its operational readiness, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said in a Facebook post on Thursday, adding that it is for this reason that the deployment has gone ahead.
The RSAF's deployment also marks Singapore's strong defence ties with Australia, Dr Ng said.
He also noted that this year marks the 30th anniversary of the SAF's training presence in the Shoalwater Bay Training Area.
"We are grateful for the support of the Australian Government and the good people in Darwin and in other areas for hosting our military training," Dr Ng said.
Due to airspace constraints in Singapore, the RSAF has to conduct overseas training to meet its training requirements.
Apart from Australia, the RSAF also has overseas training detachments in locations including the US and France.