U.S., Singapore partnership standout

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. -- Aug. 9 marked the 49th anniversary of Singapore's independence. The 425th Fighter Squadron is an operational squadron comprised of elite U.S. Air Force and Republic of Singapore air force personnel designated by agreement between the U.S. and Republic of Singapore as PEACE CARVIN II. December of 2013 marked the 20-year anniversary of this partnership in excellence based right here at Luke Air Force Base.

As a commander, this is a privileged opportunity to lead a unique squadron of world class Air Force professionals. It is the partnership, people and pride of the 425th FS that make this unit standout here at Luke and everywhere it operates.

The partnership is one forged on trust, friendship and years of experience working together. It extends from operations, across maintenance, throughout the 56th Fighter Wing and into our local community. We are an operational fighter squadron from Singapore, wearing Air Education and Training Command and 56th FW patches. We train and go on multiple large-force employment exercises every year to include RED FLAG at Nellis AFB, Nevada and Alaska, Combat Archer and Maple Flag in Canada.

Every two years the RSAF hosts an extremely robust exercise right here at Luke, which yields tremendous training for RSAF and many other Singapore Armed Forces units that come from more than 9,000 miles away. Additionally, our bond with our partners in the Pacific extends well beyond Luke AFB. Singapore has a squadron of F-15SGs at Mountain Home AFB, Idaho, a squadron of Apache helicopters right down the road in Tucson, and a detachment of CH-47 Chinook helicopters in Grand Prairie, Texas. They truly are a world-class organization.

The people are simply amazing. They are dedicated and yielding prodigious success, yet are some of the most modest folks you will meet. They take advantage of learning from their U.S. Air Force counterparts in the 56th FW and we have learned from them. It is humbling to see them do what they do week after week. In short, they truly are world class. The Thunderbolt team and our local community are fortunate to host this partnership.

The pride that we take in executing our mission to provide high-end training for RSAF personnel while benchmarking against the best in the world is second to none. For that I'd like to thank each and every one of you here at Luke and beyond. We cannot do our mission without you and we thank you for your continued support and professionalism. The RSAF is very proud of the accomplishments of its men and women serving so far from home, which the RSAF Chief of Air Force iterated to me during my recent visit to the Republic of Singapore's Ministry of Defense. The PEACE CARVIN II Partnership has grown immensely over the past 20 years due to the friendship and trust that have developed between our two nations, a direct result of the teamwork and daily interaction among RSAF and U.S. Air Force professionals, both military and civilian here at Luke AFB. We should be proud of what we have accomplished together as a team, for it is that joint effort that ensures the 425th Fighter Squadron remains "feared throughout the land."