Built by the British to support its naval base to the north of Singapore Island. It became RAF Tengah in 1939 and was still woefully under resourced to resist the Japanese, who occupied it on 9 Feb 1942. Facilities were improved by the British after WWII and it became home to the Malayan Auxilliary Air Force (Singapore Squadron) from Jun 1950, where it supported the MAAF fixed wing training.
MAAF was disbanded in Sep 1960, as part of the transition to full government by Singapore established on 3 Jun 1959. Visiting deployments from RAAF units continued as well as based activity from RAF helicopter units. With the British withdrawing from overseas commitments, RAF Tengah was closed in Sep 1971 and the base was handed over to the Singapore Air Defence Command.
Tengah has had its fair share of engineering problems, associated with the site. Hard pan soils and proximity to mangrove swamps meant it was succeptible to flooding. Major works were carried out between 1959 and 1961 to provide a new longer and well drained main runway, to remove monsoon rainfall and a high water table.
It had hosted the SADC Flying Training School since Aug 1969 and on handover, its name was changed to Tengah Air Base. The 5 nations agreement signed with Singapore has permitted detatchments of RAF, RAAF
units to continue, with Tengah being a regular host to Nimrods from the UK. Tengah is home to various fixed wing units of the RSAF.