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Western Arc at Dijon

Photo's of Singapore F-16s
Photo's of French Mirages

On Monday September 23th, 2004 a delegation of the Singapore Air Force left for BA 102 Dijon, France to participate in the bilateral exercise 'Western Arc'. During this 10.000 km trip, a number of stops were made at Bangalore (India), Al Dhafra (United Arab Emirates) and Souda Bay (Greece)

The participating aircraft and squadrons were:
-6 F-16 C/D's (numbers: 610, 611, 612, 614, 640, 691) from 140 'Osprey' squadron and 143 'Gryphon' squadron located at Tengah airbase.
-2 KC-135's belonging to 112 squadron at Changi airbase were located at Avord (France) during the exercise.
-1 C-130 from 122 squadron of the Paya Lebar airbase was used for transport.

The base of Dijon was reached on September 16th, were everything was being prepared for the exercise the next week on Monday. Dijon is the homebase of Escadron de Chasse (Wing) EC 2 consisting of 2 Escadrilles (Squadrons) EC 01.002 'Cigognes' and EC 02.002 'Côte d'Or'. Both Escadrilles are flying with the Mirage 2000-5F, an upgraded version of the original Mirage 2000C.

A publication of TLP 2004/5 is in the november 2004 issue of Air Forces Monthly

All photo's:
G.J.A. van Boven
© Sentry Aviation News


Singapore F-16's at Dijon

For many years there have been contacts between the French AF and Singapore AF, based on a bilateral agreement (SOFA) signed in 1998. Already in 1998 with exercise 'Eastern Arc', 4 French mirages from Orange visited Singapore. The 'Western Arc' exercise would be the counterpart by which the Singapore AF would visit France. It was originally planned to happen in 2003 but the outbreak of the SARS-disease is Asia postponed this exercise for a year.

In previous French exercises, like ODAX and OPERA, the Singapore AF already participated with A-4S aircraft. These A-4S's belonged to the Singapore training squadron (150 squadron) currently based at Cazaux in southern France. The pilots for this exercise were flown-in directly from Singapore to Cazaux a week before the actual exercises took place, where they prepared themselves for the French weather and ATC procedures. As 'Western Arc' would require more sophisticated aircraft than A-4's, F-16's were used for this exercise between September 20 2004 and October 01 2004. During the first week familiarization flights took place with simple 1 versus 1 and 2 vs. 2 Combat Air Patrol missions. For the second week, more complex Combat Air Patrol and Close Air Support missions were planned with not-even numbers (2 vs. 1 or 3 vs. 4).
(c)Sentry Aviation News, 20040923_lsfd_sgaf_f16c_610_14_jvb_mt01.jpg(c)Sentry Aviation News, 20040923_lsfd_sgaf_f16c_610_6_jvb_mt01.jpg(c)Sentry Aviation News, 20040923_lsfd_sgaf_f16c_614_10_jvb_mt01.jpg(c)Sentry Aviation News, 20040923_lsfd_sgaf_f16d_640_3_jvb_mt01.jpg
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French Mirages

During the first week, the Dijon PRO organized a media day on the 16th. The weather forecast for the 16th day was awful; a day with heavy rain showers was predicted by the various (internet) weather-magicians. While driving from the Netherlands to the center of France, nature tried to prove that these forecasts had to be correct. Only some 50 km north of Dijon, the heavy rain stopped and a gray (but dry!!) cloud base remained overhead for the rest of the day. The flightline of the F-16’s was visited and the runway at a point were the Mirages lifted their wheels from the runway.
After leaving the base around 17:00, the rain showers were picked up again north of Dijon......
After the 'Western Arc 04' exercise ended, the Singaporese aircraft flew back via Souda Bay, Al Dhafra to Air Force Station Gwalior in India. At Air Force Station Gwalior they participated in the Indian-Singaporese exercise SINDEX '04 from 7 October to 28 October 2004.
(c)Sentry Aviation News, 20040923_lsfd_fraf_m2000-5f_42_jvb_mt01.jpg(c)Sentry Aviation News, 20040923_lsfd_fraf_m2000-5f_62_jvb_mt01.jpg(c)Sentry Aviation News, 20040923_lsfd_fraf_m2000-5f_66_2_jvb_mt01.jpg(c)Sentry Aviation News, 20040923_lsfd_fraf_m2000-5f_69_2_jvb_mt01.jpg
I would like to thank LTT Digue of BA 102, Dijon and SIRPA/AIR of the Armee de l'Air and Lee Sin Yee of the Singapore Defense Force.

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