The US Air Force is exploring the possibility of bedding down a contingent of Republic of Singapore Air Force F-15 fighter jets and the necessary mission support infrastructure at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam.
The move is delineated in a revised proposal for the base and is geared towards upgrading its infrastructure in alignment with strategic initiatives in the Indo-Pacific region.
In a press release from Andersen Air Force Base, the Air Force said it first issued a notice of intent on April 20, 2021. This notice signaled the Air Force’s intention to undertake an environmental impact statement for proposed infrastructure enhancements at Andersen AFB.
After concluding the scoping period in May 2021, the Air Force paused the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to reassess its scope and consider the evolving requirements of strategic initiatives in the Indo-Pacific region and how the proposed action could best support them.
A subsequent scoping period is underway for the revised proposal, which focuses on accommodating up to 12 Singapore F-15 fighter aircraft at Andersen AFB and constructing infrastructure at the air base.
As stated by the US Air Force, the purpose is to provide critical infrastructure that enhances the US posture west of the international date line and to facilitate the bed down and operation of the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) fighter aircraft at Andersen AFB to meet training requirements.
The planned upgrades will occur in the northwest corner of the base’s airfield and munitions storage area.
The construction timeline is projected to span three to seven years, encompassing various elements such as airfield pavements, an aircraft hangar, maintenance and utility buildings, fuel systems, fencing and utilities, roadways and parking, stormwater management infrastructure, and earth-covered magazines.
The Air Force noted that approximately 209 acres would be disturbed during construction.
Highlighting the versatility of the proposed infrastructure, the service stated that it could support not only the F-15 bed down but also other Department of the Air Force (DAF), service components, and partner nation aircraft or missions operating from Andersen AFB, both presently and in the future.
The USAF mentioned that the decision to enhance strategic capabilities in the Indo-Pacific region led to the selection of Andersen AFB, with the Air Force dismissing five other potential alternative locations within the Pacific Air Forces area of responsibility from consideration.
The base, situated on the island of Guam in the western Pacific Ocean, is a strategically significant military installation operated by the USAF.
Its primary role involves serving as a critical forward operating location, which is crucial in supporting the air power projection by the United States and its allies in the Indo-Pacific region.
The upcoming phase will involve a detailed evaluation of potential environmental impacts and community considerations. A preliminary Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is anticipated to be released by mid-2024, with the final EIS and associated plans scheduled for early to mid-2025.
Singapore Air Force F-15SG Fighter Jets
The F-15 is the backbone of the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF). The RSAF selected the F-15SG variant, formerly known as F-15T, on September 6, 2005, following an evaluation that included five other fighter aircraft.
This nation opted for the F-15 over the Dassault Rafale, the only remaining contender. On August 22, 2005, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) informed Congress about a potential Foreign Military Sale (FMS) to Singapore, encompassing weapons, logistics, and training.
The options presented included AIM-120C and AIM-9X missiles, GBU-38 JDAM, AGM-154 JSOW air-to-ground weapons, night vision goggles, and Link 16 terminals.
Subsequently, in December 2005, an order for 12 F-15SGs was placed. Singapore exercised an option for an additional eight F-15SGs within the original contract on October 22, 2007.
Expanding their fleet, Singapore later purchased four more F-15SGs. The inaugural F-15SG was unveiled on November 3, 2008, and deliveries commenced in 2009.
All 24 aircraft were declared operational in September 2013. The RSAF continued to augment its fleet with additional F-15SGs, acquiring eight in 2010 and another eight in 2014, bringing the total to 40 F-15SGs by 2018.
The F-15SG fighter aircraft has a two-seat, night-vision goggle (NVG) compatible glass cockpit, emphasizing flight safety.
The Joint Helmet-Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS) display is integrated into the pilot’s helmet, ensuring continuous situational awareness day and night.
The F-15SG multi-role tactical fighter aircraft features 15 weapon stations. This allows for deploying diverse conventional and precision stand-off weapons designed to address specific mission needs.
The aircraft can be equipped with up to eight AIM-120 or AIM-9X air-to-air missiles for air-to-air attack missions. In air-to-ground roles, it can carry 15,500lb laser-guided bombs or Maverick air-to-surface missiles.