Tuesday, November 23, 2010

DPM Teo Calls on Australian Prime Minister

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Teo Chee Hean calling on Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard at the Australian Parliament House.

23 November 2010 -- Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Teo Chee Hean called on Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard in Canberra today. Both parties reaffirmed the close and broad-based bilateral relations between the two countries, of which the strong and long-standing defence ties are a key pillar. Their meeting also reinforced the political support from both countries for the extensive interactions and cooperation between both armed forces, including the ongoing cooperation in the multinational reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan.

During his working visit to Australia, Mr Teo also met with Defence Minister Stephen Smith, Minister for Foreign Affairs Kevin Rudd, Senator John Faulkner, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, Shadow Minister for Defence David Johnston, Special Minister of State for the Public Service and Integrity Gary Gray, Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development, Minister for Sport, and Minister for Social Housing and Homelessness Honourable Mark Arbib and Chief Government Whip Joel Fitzgibbon. At a joint press conference with Mr Smith yesterday, Mr Teo reiterated Singapore's appreciation of the strong and extensive defence relationship between Singapore and Australia. "We are very grateful for the opportunities that Australia has provided for Singapore to train here in Australia. It has been a great help to us, our training in Shoalwater Bay as well as our flight training in Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Pearce in Perth. I have just visited both places and it is going very well, and we are very grateful for the cooperation," said Mr Teo.

Minister for Defence, Stephen Smith with Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence, Teo Chee Hean at the Press Conference. (Foto: Australia DoD)

Mr Teo had also visited the Republic of Singapore Air Force Flying Training Institute in the Royal Australian Air Force Base Pearce earlier. He had also witnessed an integrated live-firing involving air and land platforms such as the F-16 fighter aircraft, Apache AH-64 helicopters and Singapore Self-Propelled Howitzer, Primus, when he visited the Singapore Armed Forces troops participating in Exercise Wallaby 2010 at the Shoalwater Bay Training Area in Queensland.

DPM Teo visits RSAF Flying Training Institute in Perth

Mr Teo trying out the flight simulator, which is part of the RSAF 130 SQN's ground-based training system.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Teo Chee Hean visited the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) Flying Training Institute (FTI) at the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Pearce in Perth, Australia, today. During his visit to RAAF Base Pearce, which is home to the RSAF's 130 Squadron (SQN), Mr Teo tried out the flight simulator, viewed a static display of the state-of-the-art Pilatus PC-21 trainer aircraft and interacted with pilot trainees and RSAF personnel stationed there.

The RSAF has modernised the training programmes for our pilot trainees, which include a comprehensive flying programme as well as a ground-based training management and support system to improve the standard and efficiency of our training. The PC-21 trainer aircraft, with a superior aerodynamic performance and advanced avionics, allows RSAF pilot trainees to build a strong foundation in flying fundamentals and allows the RSAF to identify those with fighter flying aptitude early. The RSAF pilot trainees also utilise a suite of ground-based training systems, including the flight simulator, to shorten their learning curve. In addition, the simulator's ability to generate complex operational scenarios enhances the RSAF pilot trainees' situational awareness and skills in aerial tactics. Commanding Officer of 130 SQN, Lieutenant Colonel Eric Wee, said: "Besides training potential RSAF pilots by equipping them with basic flying skills, trainee pilots also start developing their airmanship, situational awareness and emergency handling skills at the squadron. These competencies are being taught progressively to allow them to develop better flight and air combat skills, as well as mission management skills."

RSAF FTI at Base Pearce has also adopted an outsourcing programme which has increased cost effectiveness. Under a contract awarded through the MINDEF Public-Private Partnership (PPP), Lockheed Martin has been providing the RSAF with a training package using the PC-21 trainer aircraft. They also supply and maintain the fleet of PC-21 trainer aircraft and a suite of ground-based training systems.

Training in Australia and other overseas locations allows the RSAF to overcome airspace constraints in Singapore. The RSAF signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the RAAF to establish the FTI at RAAF Base Pearce in March 1993. Australia has also provided Shoalwater Bay Training Area to the Singapore Armed Forces for training, which Mr Teo visited yesterday to observe Exercise Wallaby. The training arrangements are testament to the close and long-standing bilateral defence relations between Singapore and Australia.


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