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51st FW soars with allies in CS23

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Aubree Owens
  • 51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

U.S. Air Force pilots and maintainers assigned to the 51st Fighter Wing, Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, participated in Commando Sling 23, a PACAF-sponsored field training exercise at Paya Lebar Air Base, Singapore, Nov. 6-24, 2023.

The wing deployed six F-16 Fighting Falcons, assigned to the 36th Fighter Squadron, along with 90 maintainers, assigned to the 36th Fighter Generation Squadron, to the bilateral exercise. This annual training enables the U.S. and Republic of Singapore Air Forces to build aerial communication, evaluate tactic, increase interoperability, and improve alliance capability.

“[We] trained with Singaporean F-15s [SG], F-16s [Block 52], and refueled multiple times with their A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Cory Ferrer, 36th FS commander.

The three-week training featured fighter air-to-air capabilities and placed a high emphasis on flight support operations in a live environment. Osan pilots were able to train in dissimilar dogfighting, combined tactics, and increase airborne training time through air-to-air refueling.

“The training is invaluable in allowing us to learn how to better employ the F-16 against aircraft that have different performance characteristics and methods of fighting,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Jonathan Lee, 36th FS instructor pilot.

In addition to participating in CS23, for the first time in history, a commercial KDC‐10 tanker aircraft refueled the F-16s while in route to Singapore.

“Bilateral training provides Osan pilots, maintenance personnel, and other supporting professionals opportunities to engage with and learn from our allies,” said Ferrer. “When we go to exercises such as Commando Sling, we practice combat agility while demonstrating the strength and necessity of partnerships.”