SINGAPORE — The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) is looking to relocate its F-16 fighter training detachment from Luke Air Force Base in Arizona to Ebbing Air National Guard Base in Arkansas.
If the plan materialises, the air base in Arkansas will also host the RSAF's future F-35B fighter jets, of which the first four are scheduled to be delivered in five years.
In a press release on Friday, Singapore's Ministry of Defence (Mindef) said the the United States Department of Defense selected Ebbing Air National Guard Base in consultation with Mindef.
An environmental impact assessment will be conducted before the decision is finalised, it added.
Should the site be found unsuitable, Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Michigan has been selected as an alternate location.
In its release, Mindef said, "Ebbing Air National Guard Base was shortlisted following careful feasibility studies between the RSAF and the US Air Force (USAF), which included factors such as suitability of location and training area, infrastructure and logistics support.
"The co-location of the RSAF F- 16s and F-35Bs will also maximise opportunities for integrated training. The RSAF also looks forward to enhanced joint training and exchanges with the USAF’s and US Marine Corps’ F- 35s," Mindef said.
"Such overseas training is important for the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) to overcome local airspace constraints and to conduct high-end realistic training," it added.
Mindef had previously announced that the RSAF’s F-35Bs will be deployed in the US for training when the initial four are delivered in 2026.
The RSAF detachment at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona was established in 1992 and is the longest operating RSAF overseas detachment.
There is also an F-15SG detachment at Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho and an AH-64 Apache helicopter detachment at Marana in Arizona.
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