A Republic of Singapore Air Force flying training exercise hosted by the Royal New Zealand Air Force will take place at the Ohakea Air Force base from 30 August to 25 September, says Defence Minister Mark Mitchell.
Mr Mitchell says the deployment will include six F-16D+ fighter jets, about 110 personnel and associated support equipment. The contingent will be based at Ohakea but will carry out training missions throughout New Zealand, including day and night flying, using New Zealand air weapons ranges, and conducting other training at both high and low altitude.
“Singapore is one of our closest Defence partners. All three Services of the New Zealand Defence Force regularly train and exercise with their Singaporean counterparts, and it will be a pleasure to welcome this group to New Zealand,” Mr Mitchell says.
“Our two countries have an active agreement to explore opportunities for further military co-operation and training and this exercise aligns perfectly with that.”
Mr Mitchell says Singapore has also asked the New Zealand Government to consider accommodating F-15SG fighter jet training at Ohakea long-term.
“At the moment both countries are carrying out a range of studies to enable everyone to make an informed decision on a possible proposal. But we have similar values and it could be a good fit.
“This exercise is timely, in that it will provide valuable data for the process and how basing F15s at Ohakea might work for our Air Force.
“The Government is committed to following a good process and is firmly committed to work closely on this with local communities through their mayors and councils. That engagement has already begun.
“There is a lot of work to be done before the possibility could come to fruition and I look forward to a productive partnership with local government in that work,” Mr Mitchell says.
This is really interesting at a few levels. Firstly great news for spotters etc at Ohakea ..16s and then f15s. Secondly must be bit weird possibly having combat aircraft based back in NZ but under the command of another country. On that note I assume they wont have weapons stored in NZ?
Makes sense Don. I think Singas dispersal of their assets is really clever. Training elements obviously need some space but must be a logistical nightmare. Given they already have F15s in the US the basing in NZ will be closer to home and they can come and play in Aus easily too. I'm guessing too they'd have to spend a fair bit at Ohakea to get the required facilities.
Post by Dave Homewood on Aug 13, 2017 23:21:29 GMT 12
Does the RNZAF still own lots of Married Quarter houses at Ohakea? or has the Govt given them all away like the Auckland MQ's? And will Singapore actually need to build new houses for their people or are there sufficient empty MQ's there in Bulls and Ohakea?
For those of us who have spent the majority of our air force careers working with (and also those who flew) jet combat aircraft, the return of the "sounds of freedom" to Ohakea skies is most welcome. I am sure a lot of Bulls folk will feel the same way.
If it wasn't for the Clark-led Labour government the welcome sound of jet aircraft would never have left the skies of Ohakea and New Zealand could have held its head high working alongside our ANZUS partners and others.
Whoops, their tracker just vanished from FlightRadar24. Is that normal??
Noted that Dave, guess they only had ADS on from Brisbane area. I have notice with GA aircraft, they turn them off as well. Going back to SAF, when I posted you, I thought three hours for the tanker, so arrival between 1530 for F-16's and 1600 for 707! The track appeared to be arrival off Egmont and down the South Taranaki Coast.