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Commando Sling provides stronger alliance

PAYA LEBAR AIR BASE, Singapore -- Exercise Commando Sling is underway for Airmen at Paya Lebar Air Base, Singapore. The goal of Commando Sling is a stronger alliance and a safer Pacific Region.

"Commando Sling is primarily an air-to-air combat exercise where we have the opportunity to fly with the pilots from the Royal Singapore Air Force, against and with their F-5s and their F-16s in air-to-air combat from basic fighter maneuvers one versus one all the way to the full spectrum of four versus four," said Lt. Col. Dieter Bareihs, the 18th Fighter Squadron commander from Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska.

Flying with and against the F-5s gives the 18th FS aircrews a new plane to practice against, and just being deployed to another environment enhances the training as well, Colonel Bareihs said.

"Being from Eielson, we're routinely operating in a cold dry climate," said Colonel Bareihs. "Here, close to the equator it is a very humid and hot environment so it gives us a chance to get away from the Eielson and away from the winter so that is good. Also the training areas here are all over water and flying in Alaska, we're not used to that either."

But no matter what's below the F-16s and F-5s, the goal of Commando Sling is in the air-to-air combat training with different combat scenarios helping to meet this objective, Colonel Bareihs said.