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Rainy Day Friends: F-16s and more than 70 airmen from the 35th Fighter Wing at Misawa AB, Japan, returned from Exercise Commando Sling where they practiced air-to-air combat tactics with the Republic of Singapore Air Force at Paya Lebar Air Base in northeast Singapore. Despite inclement weather, US and Singaporean aircraft were able to stage several full-up combat exercises and the partners "made the best with what we had," said Capt. Jarod DiGeorge, Misawa's 13th Fighter Squadron commander and US exercise project officer. "I definitely think the training was beneficial to us. We don't get a lot of opportunities to fly with airmen from other nations," he added. The Misawa airmen deployed for the exercise on March 23; the last of them returned on April 19. Earlier this month, during an official visit of Singaporean Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen to Washington, D.C., the United Stated and Singapore agreed to expand bilateral military-to-military cooperation, including increasing the complexity of existing exercises like Commando Sling. (Misawa report by A1C. Kaleb Snay) (Panetta-Ng joint statement)