The U.S. Department of Air Force is proposing the beddown of up to a dozen Singapore Air Force F-15 fighter jets, which forms part of a 2019 agreement with the Asian ally to establish a permanent training detachment at Andersen Air Force Base.
The department reinstated the suspended scoping process, which was initially conducted in 2021.
“Following the initial scoping period conducted in April to May 2021, the DAF placed the EIS on a strategic pause to further consider the scope of the EIS, including the requirements of evolving strategic initiatives in the Indo-Pacific and how the proposed action could best support these initiatives,” officials said.
The Singapore squadron will include mission support and entail an increase in annual airfield operations and support personnel at the proposed detachment, Air Force officials said.
The plan requires “new infrastructure upgrades adjacent to the northwest corner of the airfield and within the munitions storage area at Andersen AFB,” according to the Department of Air Force’s notice of intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement.
“Construction would take place over approximately three to seven years and would include airfield pavements, an aircraft hangar, maintenance and utility buildings, fuel systems, fencing and utilities, roadways and parking, stormwater management infrastructure, and earth-covered magazines,” states the notice posted today on Federal Register.
The department said after reviewing requirements for strategic capabilities within the Indo-Pacific region, it identified AAFB for enhanced capabilities and upgrade of operationally relevant infrastructure. It chopped five other potential alternative locations within the Pacific Air Forces area of responsibility from consideration.
“The Air Force is now conducting an additional public scoping period for the revised proposal to beddown up to 12 RSAF F-15 fighter aircraft and construct infrastructure upgrades at AAFB,” it added.
Officials said approximately 209 total acres would be disturbed during construction, which would be either developed sites or maintained vegetation once construction is complete.
“The proposed infrastructure has multiple uses and could support both the RSAF F–15 beddown and other DAF, service component, and partner nation aircraft or missions operating from Andersen AFB now or in the future,” the Air Force said.
The U.S. and Singapore signed the agreement in May 2021 in a sign of deepening defense ties between the two countries and to enhance the Air Force’s capability to support U.S. and partner nation forces within the Indo-Pacific region and strengthen the U.S’s ability to respond regionally and worldwide,
Due to tight airspace in Singapore, fighter pilots have little room for training, hence the need for vast training airspace to allow its air force to conduct realistic training to hone their capabilities and readiness.