The availability of heavy lifters such as the Ruslan, leased from a Russian company, gives RSAF mission planners from the Transport Group a heavy airlift option unimaginable during the days of the Cold War. During a period of tension, strategic transports like these could rapidly reinforce home defences by airlifting Army and RSAF war machines based overseas back to Singapore. The success of this air bridge hinges on excellent strategic intelligence of a potential enemy's intent and drawer plans that can quickly mobilise and deploy commercial airlifters in support of the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF).
At a tactical level, RSAF engineers must also be well-versed with the intricacies of strategic airlift. This skill was amply practised ferrying cargo to and from Singapore to Rockhampton - and are captured by pictures from Australian plane spotter Ben O'Dowd.