Singaporean leaders visit, recognize first weapons instructors

MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- The 366th Fighter Wing welcomed Singaporean Maj. Gen. Mervyn Tan, Chief of Republic of Singapore Air Force, and Brig. Gen. Tommy Tan Ah Han, RSAF Air Combat Command commander, among others, Aug. 17-20 to recognize the first graduates of the Singaporean Fighter Weapons Instructor Course here.

The RSAF leaders met with 366th Fighter Wing leaders, went on a base tour and attended a mission brief to experience the working relationship between the Singaporean 428th Fighter Squadron and the rest of the Gunfighters.

"They say 'It takes a village to raise an Olympic champion' but in this instance it took two Air Forces to graduate these three airmen," said Lt. Col. Tham Yeow Min, 428th FS senior ranking officer.

The graduation recognized F-15SG Pilot Maj. Wang Kee Yong and Weapons Systems Officers Capt. Alex Ong and Capt. Chia Chi Yu. The course is modeled after the U.S. Air Force's fighter weapons school and instructors. It teaches RSAF aircrew about advanced combat maneuvers and tactics.

"It is exciting to be a part of this program and to be able to contribute back to the RSAF international community," Chia said.

The Republic of Singapore and U.S. air forces have a partnership since 2009 known as Peace Carvin V, which allows both countries to train as partner nations here.

This course enhances not only the RSAF's combat readiness but the USAF's as well. The 428th FS "Buccaneers" look to continue this course in the future.

"I would like to thank USAF and its instructors for their role in leading these airmen to graduation," Tham said. "This is a huge accomplishment for these individuals and our countries."