Pantons deploy in support of ‘Sling’

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Stephen Collier
  • 8th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Roughly 80 Airmen and approximately five aircraft from the 35th Fighter Squadron and 35th Aircraft Maintenance Unit deployed from Kunsan in support of Operation Commando Sling May 26.

The month-long deployment, involving joint warfare operations between the U.S. Air Force and its Singapore counterpart, gives the 35th FS, known as the “Pantons,” and 35th AMU practice and allows for improving procedures related to deploying to a non-U.S. base.

“Commando Sling ... (allows) our pilots and maintainers to sharpen their skills while fostering strong working relationships with nations in the region,” 1st Lt. Jason Mascetta, 35th FS Commando Sling project officer said. “Training with the Singapore air force generates lessons learned that lead to bettering our ability to operate together, and the goodwill generated between fellow fliers is priceless.”

The Republic of Singapore air force’s mock missions will allow the Wolf Pack’s F-16s to fight and fly against their aircraft. Lt. Mascetta added the SAF brings an entirely new perspective to the Pantons.

“The Singapore air force brings not only dissimilar aircraft, but also dissimilar tactics with which to train against, broadening our ability to employ as the Wolf Pack.”

During their time in Singapore, Wolf Pack members won’t just be supporting the mission, but supporting those less fortunate.

“Members of the 35th FS and AMU already visit orphanages in Kunsan and they plan to do so in Singapore as well,” said Lt. Mascetta. “Spending time with the children is an invaluable experience for both them and the Pantons, and is one way we can place service before self.”

Commando Sling, now in its 16th year, hosts the Wolf Pack as well as other units from Pacific Air Forces.

The goals for Commando Sling include promoting security and stability throughout the Pacific through air and space power.