REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE AIR FORCE F-15SG DROPS GBU-31 FOR FIRST TIME

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The GBU-31 is used for precision targeting on fixed objects, ranging from stationary vehicles to large building complexes

The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) participated in Combat Hammer last week at Hill Air Force Base (AFB), Utah.

As we have already explained, Combat Hammer is an exercise that evaluates weapons systems in their entirety— from the loading to the delivery of the munitions.

“Exercise Combat Hammer provides the aircrew the opportunity to conduct component level proficiency training in a realistic operational scenario,” said RSAF Lt. Koh Ryun Kiat, 428th Fighter Squadron (FS) pilot. “The vast air space, technical expertise and analytical data acquired throughout this exercise allows the RSAF to hone its skills and evaluate advanced weapons systems.”

Republic of Singapore Lt. Col. Oon Kok Choon, 428th Fighter Squadron senior ranking officer, left, and RSAF Lt. Eng Jun Chao, 428th FS weapons system operator, right, pose for a photo before heading to Combat Hammer, May 2, 2017, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. RSAF flight crew spent the week testing their weapons system capabilities during Combat Hammer.

“There are a lot of people involved in Combat Hammer,” said RSAF Capt. Chia Chi Yu, 428th FS weapons instructor. “From my maintenance crew prepping the bombs and loading them onto the jet, all the way to the pilot and the weapons system operators taking the weapons down to the range to actually deploy them.”

As told by Senior Airman Jeremy Mosier, 366th Fighter Wing, in the article 428th Fighter Squadron participates in Combat Hammer, taking part in the exercise was a feat in its own, but the real significance lies in what the RSAF was able to do while using Hill’s range complexes.

“The highlight for this competition is our GBU 31, a 2,000-pound class [joint direct attack munition],” Chia said. “This is the first time we are deploying this munition in the RSAF with the F-15SG.”

The GBU 31 is used for precision targeting on fixed objects, ranging from stationary vehicles to large building complexes.

“We are able to test our aircraft capability on employing the GBU 31 and it will help us to evaluate our weapons systems and also enhance our operational capability,” pointed out RSAF ME2-1 Teoh Teck Lee, 428th FS crew chief. “It will help us to evaluate our loading processes and we are able to best match ourselves with one of the world’s best Air Forces.”

Combat Hammer gave the RSAF an opportunity to test the mettle of its airmen and achieve the goal of success and ranking itself among the elite.

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“Participating in this large scale exercise will allow the squadron to build confidence in this air-to-ground weapons employment, hone its operational competencies and sharpen the edge of the sword,” Koh said.

The 428th FS is part of the 366th Fighter Wing (FW) at Mountain Home AFB, Idaho. Currently, it operates F-15SG aircraft conducting formal training missions to qualify RSAF crews in the F-15SG.

The squadron’s mission in fact is to provide advanced weapons and tactics continuation training for RSAF F-15 pilots, weapon systems officers and maintenance personnel. RSAF aircrew and maintenance personnel are assigned to the 428th for two years, during which they receive advanced tactics training and deploy to locations throughout the U.S. to participate in composite operations and dissimilar air combat exercises.

Photo credit: Senior Airman Jeremy L. Mosier / U.S. Air Force

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