Ten F-15SGs belonging to the Republic of Singapore have been flying out of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base since July 7. Pilots from Singapore have been here training with members of the U.S. Air Force, the 428th “Buccaneers” Fighter Squadron.
Though they normally operate out of Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, runway construction forced the unit to temporarily reassign to Davis-Monthan.
The F-15SG, an upgraded version of the U.S. Air Force’s F-15E Strike Eagle, is produced by Boeing as part of a long-term, joint training and development program.
Improvements to the F-15E include higher-thrust engines, radar with boosted range and improved avionics. Multiple experts in the defense industry have stated that the F-15SG is the most advanced variation of F-15E in production today.
Crews from both nations were busy preparing for training operations and slowly departed from Davis-Monthan to take to overcast skies.
Staff Sgt. Doron Holmes, a member of the 366th Security Forces Squadron, was on the flight line that morning to provide security for the Singapore squadron. He talked about what it was like to work out of Tucson.
“When we were back in Mountain Home, we didn’t get much interaction with them,” he said. “Being close and personal while working with them is a lot different. At the end of the day, we’re all working together and doing the same job. They appreciate me and I appreciate them.”
Though interactions between military forces and those of the U.S. do often occur, members of the 428th hold their Singapore counterparts in the highest regard.
“They’re a very professional and well-trained air force,’ said Captain Benjamin Flores. “They take care of themselves pretty well.”
Operations will conclude in Tucson soon, as the F-15s will be flying back to Idaho to continue training out of Mountain Home Air Force Base.