VMFA-242's 'Bats' in Singapore for Commando Sling 16-2

April 03, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Exercise Commando Sling 16-2 (Mar 2016) - An F/A-18D Hornet of the VMFA(AW)-242 "Bats" returns after an exercise sortie. © Roy Choo An F/A-18D Hornet of the VMFA(AW)-242 "Bats" returns after an Exercise Commando Sling 16-2 sortie. © Roy Choo (Click on image for high resolution version.)

In what is the smallest Commando Sling detachment in recent memory, the 'Bats' of VMFA(AW)-242 has deployed, from MCAS Iwakuni, four F/A-18D Hornets to Singapore for the second iteration of this year's exercise. Arriving into Paya Lebar Air Base on the afternoon of 28 March, the Hornets carry Modex numbers 00, 03, 04 and 08. Flying dissimilar air combat training sorties with and against the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF)'s F-15SGs and F-16C/Ds, the 'Bats' have had a high mission tempo over the past week, probably in a bid to make up for the lack of numbers. All three of the ATARS (Advanced Tactical Airborne Reconnaissance System)-equipped Hornets in the squadron have been assigned for the Singaporean deployment. These Hornets, modified to carry an electro-optical sensor payload in the nose, are capable of transmitting imagery in real-time/near real-time to ground-based analysts for reconnaissance exploitation or post-strike assessment work.

Commando Sling 16-2 is expected to conclude in mid-April.


Further Reading

- USMC Hornets in Singapore for Ex. Commando Sling 14-2

- Exercise Commando Sling 12-1


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