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Singapore, Australia begin airdrop and parachute operations

A Republic of Singapore Air Force C-130H Hercules drops a Heavy Equipment platform. Photo: ACW Maddison Scott

The Australian Defence Force has announced the start of airdrop and parachute operations with the Republic of Singapore Air Force.

The Australian Defence Force has announced the start of airdrop and parachute operations with the Republic of Singapore Air Force.

Both groups will conduct air mobility training from the RAAF Base Richmond between 27 April and 4 June 2024, according to a statement from the Defence Department published on 29 April.

As part of the annual Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) training, a Singaporean C-130H Hercules transport aircraft and approximately 140 Singaporean personnel are undertaking flying activity, including airdrop and parachute operations over western Sydney, the Blue Mountains, and regional NSW.


The Australian Defence Force (ADF) will support the exercise with airbase operations support, air traffic control services and other logistical and operational support. ADF jumpers, parachutes, and aircraft will not be involved.

Air Commodore Bradley Clarke, Commander of Air Mobility Group, said the training detachment would allow Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and Australian Army members to engage closely with RSAF personnel.

“Singaporean C-130 crews deploy to RAAF Base Richmond for this training each year,” Air CDRE Clarke said.

“Our support allows us to more easily integrate with Singapore in future, and positively contributes to Singapore’s own security.

“Singapore has provided air mobility support to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations throughout the region, including to Australia during floods and bushfires.”

The support of local communities in these areas is greatly appreciated by exercise participants as the training will involve day and night flying on weekdays and flying at low level in airspace and airfields commonly used by RAAF aircraft. There is no planned weekend flying activity.

Earlier this year, Australia and Singapore leadership committed to continuing defence cooperation and potential hosting of Australian nuclear-powered submarines, ahead of the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit held in Melbourne during early March this year.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese met his Singaporean counterpart, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, during the ninth Australia-Singapore Annual Leaders’ Meeting to discuss areas of ongoing collaboration, including continued support for Singapore Armed Force training in Australia and progress in the Australia – Singapore Military Training Initiative, which includes plans to expand Shoalwater Bay.

A joint statement from that meeting also outlined Singapore’s commitment to supporting Australian maritime vessels, now set to include Australia’s conventionally armed nuclear-powered submarines.

“The leaders noted Australia’s commitment to responsible nuclear stewardship and setting the highest non-proliferation standard in relation to its acquisition of conventionally armed, nuclear-powered submarines under AUKUS,” the statement read.

“The leaders acknowledged Singapore’s offer to host Australia’s conventionally armed, nuclear-powered submarines for port visits once ready.”

The pair also confirmed their support for the Five Power Defence Arrangements and “acknowledged” Singapore’s continued support for Australian aircraft and ships in the region.

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