428th FS Gunfighters participate in and win Red Flag exercise March 22 at Nellis AFB
By Airman 1st Class Andrew Kobialka, 366th Fighter Wing
/ Published March 29, 2019
MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho --
Long hours on the job in a high-demand environment make for a brutal work-pace that brings about sleep deprivation and mental fatigue. Eighty fighter jets are constantly being armed, tediously inspected and ripping through the sky, leaving a trail of thunder, during the world’s premiere air-to-air combat exercise - This is Red Flag.
The Republic of Singapore Air Force’s 428th Fighter Squadron is one of the participants at Red Flag at Nellis Air Force Base, NV, the week of March 17.
“It’s my first time working on such a busy flightline,” said ME1-2 Joanne Lee, 428th FS air force engineer. “There are many different types of aircraft and air forces here and it's really interesting to observe how they receive, launch and maintain their aircraft.”
Lee explained that they learned some best practices through interacting with the many air forces that were present at the exercise.
ME5-1 Theen Mun Chong, 428th FS Senior Maintenance Officer, explained that “working with the other nations is important to see how we compliment each other to make our forces stronger as a whole.”
RSAF being at Red Flag not only is a great learning opportunity but it also is demonstration of strength.
Being able to participate in a big exercise alongside the USAF, the Netherlands and the Saudis proves a lot of things, said ME1-2 Yan Chen Fok, 428th FS air force engineer.
Even though we are such a small country, we are able to fight with or against bigger countries,” Fok said.
The 428th FS’s performance at Red flag bolsters Fok’s message. They won the Red Flag Outstanding Unit and had several top performers from their aircrew.
When asked what led to this success Chong replied with, “I’d narrow it down to good training and high team spirit. We rely on our training to generate the required sorties for the aircrew mission, but more importantly, high team spirit helps us motivate each other which is important during times of high stress.”
The 428th FS Gunfighters both improved their combat readiness and excelled while doing so at Red Flag.
“This has been a great exercise for RSAF and Singapore as a whole,” Fok said. “Our success goes a long way in providing deterrence. We are not to be messed with.”