The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) and the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) successfully conducted the third edition of the annual bilateral Search-and-Rescue Exercise (SAREX) MALSING. Held from 29 September to 1 October, this year’s edition included a virtual table-top exercise and a field training exercise conducted without physical contact between personnel from both air forces.

Chief of Air Force Major-General Kelvin Khong (top left) at the virtual opening ceremony of SAREX MALSING on 29 September.

Exercise participants exchanged professional knowledge on Search-and-Rescue (SAR) operations and discussed procedures for combined SAR missions through video teleconference. An RSAF AS332M Super Puma helicopter and an RMAF EC725 helicopter participated in the field training exercise which included joint aerial search and medical evacuation operations, based on a simulated aerial mishap scenario. Such training exercises promote cooperation in areas of mutual interest and foster professional interactions between both air forces.

An RMAF EC725 helicopter (background) conducting Search and Locate operations with an RSAF AS322M Super Puma helicopter, as part of the combined FTX.

Chief of Air Force Major-General (MG) Kelvin Khong and Deputy Chief of the RMAF Lieutenant General Dato’ Mohd Asghar Khan bin Goriman Khan co-officiated at the virtual opening ceremony of SAREX MALSING on 30 September. Speaking at the ceremony, MG Khong said, “Malaysia and Singapore’s geographical proximity presents the opportunity for both Air Forces to coordinate and to maximise our combined abilities to carry out SAR operations safely and expeditiously. The need for SAR has not diminished with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is critical that our Air Forces establish and keep our mutually agreeable processes and principles warm to ensure mission success.”

In addition to SAREX MALSING, the RSAF and RMAF also interact regularly across a wide range of activities, which include bilateral visits and professional exchanges, as well as multilateral activities under the ambit of the Five Power Defence Arrangements.

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