Int'l relationship building, common thread at 2014 Singapore International Airshow
Guarding Department of Defense assets is a large responsibility but none too large for joint coalition forces. U.S. Air Force security forces teamed up with their counterparts from the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) to support the 2014 Singapore International Airshow with security from Feb. 5-18.
"We brought security forces members from the 647th Security Forces, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam and from 18th Security Forces Squadron, Kadena Air Base, Japan, for airfield security," said Staff Sgt. Cayman Lee, 647th Security Forces, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.
The two countries share a common goal of the defense of allies, promoting peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, and ensuring and enhancing unparalleled global engagement capability.
"We have a security detachment on the ground made up of three specializations; Airfield Defense Guards, Air Force Security and Air Base Protection personnel, all of which come under the collective name of Security Forces," said Flight Lieutenant Geoff Jarrett, officer-in-charge of the Australian Security Forces, from No. 3 Security Forces Squadron, RAAF.
The RAAF Security Forces deliver security across the full threat spectrum; from day-to-day air base security and policing tasks to defense of airbases from hostile ground attack. For the purpose of the airshow, the RAAF partnered with the U.S. to secure assets on the ground. The RAAF brought two F/A-18F Super Hornets and the U.S. Air Force brought one C-17 Globemaster III, two F-16 Fighting Falcons, and one KC-135 Stratotanker to participate this year.
The U.S. Navy brought the P-8 Poseidon and the U.S. Marine Corps sent the MV-22 Osprey and KC-130 Hercules to participate in the show.
Their presence here demonstrates a focus on core tenets, a commitment to security in the Asia-Pacific region and preservation in interoperable partnerships and alliance commitment.
"I love the experience of a different country, different culture, and to see how other cultures operate," said Lee. "My job here is to maintain eyes on at all times to ensure no harm comes to our aircraft and capabilities. Our job is to alert our armed Singapore security counterparts on any incidents requiring a response and then they handle the situation."
"It strengthens our focus on peace and stability and provides a great opportunity to strengthen international partnerships as well," said Lee. "I enjoy that I get to hang out with my Australian counter parts and do what I can for international relations."
Combined and joint training is nothing new for Leading Aircraftsman Aaron Payne, No. 3 Security Forces Squadron, RAAF, who has deployed with U.S. forces before in Afghanistan but the airshow is a unique experience for him.
"In the past our missions focused more on patrolling the Ground Defense Area and securing missile engagement zones during which we worked closely with the U.S. Army. Here, it is interesting to see how Singaporeans and other countries operate and learn about their cultures and more from their military," said Payne.