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RSAF at Mountain Home AFB
MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho - The 428th Fighter Squadron "Buccaneer" mascot poses in front of three F-15SG fighter jets belonging to the Republic of Singapore air force May 6. During a ceremony May 18, the 366th Fighter Wing, in conjunction with the Republic of Singapore air force, will officially activate the 428th Fighter Squadron “Buccaneers” here. The unit will include approximately 180 active duty and 130 support personnel as part of a long-standing partnership with the United States to train its aircrews. Over the life of the program, as many as 2,000 active duty RSAF personnel will live and work on the base. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Renishia Richardson)
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First RSAF jets arrive at Mountain Home AFB

Posted 5/7/2009   Updated 5/7/2009 Email story   Print story

    


by Staff Sgt. Brian Stives
366th Fighter Wing Public Affairs Office


5/7/2009 - MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- The first four of 10 F-15SG fighters from the Republic of Singapore air force, or RSAF, arrived at Mountain Home AFB May 6.

"It seemed like there were 1,000 things that had to happen," said Col. John Bird, 366th Fighter Wing commander. "It seemed overwhelming, but all of these things are happening and this is quite a milestone in working toward standing up the squadron later this month."

During a ceremony May 18, the 366th Fighter Wing, in conjunction with the RSAF, will officially activate the 428th Fighter Squadron "Buccaneers." The unit will include approximately 180 active duty and 130 support personnel as part of a long-standing partnership with the United States to train its aircrews. Over the life of the program, as many as 2,000 active duty RSAF personnel will live and work on the base.

Mountain Home was selected to house the training squadron following an Air Force study that began in 2005. The base was deemed the ideal location because of its extensive range complex, excellent year-round flying conditions, existing facilities and highly trained personnel. A Letter of Agreement between the United States and Republic of Singapore calls for the jets to fly out of Mountain Home AFB for at least 20 years.

"What an auspicious and historical moment, that continues our long relationship," said Col. James McGovern 366th Operations Group commander.

"The base is very excited to work with the RSAF because this partnership provides important combat readiness training for our Singapore partners, and fulfills the need to train as a team in a multi-national force structure," said Lt. Col. Keith Gibson, the training squadron's U.S. commander.

"For Mountain Home, it's going to be great because we get to train with an ally on a daily basis and it will be great culturally because they will be working with us as Gunfighters, being a part of our team," said Colonel Bird.

The Boeing F-15SG is an advanced version of the F-15E Strike Eagle currently flown by two squadrons at Mountain Home AFB. For the casual observer, the F-15SG is indistinguishable from a Strike Eagle except that it will be branded with the "lion head" insignia designating it as a Singaporean asset.

"What a beautiful airplane," said Colonel Bird as he looked over the new planes. "It's absolutely incredible, I just want to crawl up the ladder and get a whiff of that new car smell."



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