ASEAN air force chiefs hold 15th conference

The 15th ASEAN Air Chiefs Conference (AACC) concluded on September 3 in Singapore. Nine ASEAN Member States’ Air Chiefs and the Deputy Chief of the Air Force Department, Lao People’s Army attended the conference which started August 31.

“I am glad that we are taking similar steps to strengthen collaboration in combating terrorism, and to develop confidence-building measures and promote open sharing to enhance aviation safety,” Chief of the Republic of Singapore Air Force Major General Mervyn Tan said.

“With our shared commitment to the AACC, we will strengthen friendships and enhance regional security. With our collective will, we will help to build a more peaceful and secure ASEAN,” he added.

According to Singapore Ministry of Defense, “one of the key achievements for this year’s AACC is the enhancement of the ASEAN Air Forces Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations.”

“The refined SOP will enable ASEAN Air Forces to respond faster and in a unified manner when conducting regional HADR operations. This includes having a uniformed prefix in the aircraft callsigns for the conduct of HADR operations, which expedites diplomatic clearance processes to enable faster HADR responses. Earlier this year, the RSAF had also organised a Command Post Exercise amongst member nations to validate and refine the SOP,” it added.

“The AACC also established an ASEAN Air Force Counter-Terrorism Hotline to promote cooperation and information sharing on suspicious air activities and terrorist threats. In addition, the Air Chiefs expressed their support for the Guidelines for Air Encounters between Military Aircraft framework as part of confidence-building measures to enhance regional aviation safety,” Singapore MINDEF said.