Military News

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Airmen deliver toys, clothes to Thai orphanage

by Capt. George Tobias
Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs

3/18/2015 - KORAT ROYAL THAI AIR FORCE BASE, Thailand  -- Their eyes gleam with excitement and anticipation as Airmen delivered clothing, toys and school supplies to the children of the Welfare Foster Home March 18 in Udon Thani, Thailand. 

The Airmen, who are here supporting Exercise Cope Tiger 15, and their spouses collected items from their home units to bring with them to Thailand.

"One of the coolest things we did during this exercise wasn't tactical at all, it was community relations," said Lt. Col. Trey Coleman,  961st Airborne Air Control Squadron commander. "The spouses back at Kadena [Air Base, Japan] did a great job. They organized a donation drive and collected 15 to 20 bags and boxes of cloths, toys, gifts and kids' supplies."

Those goods, which were loaded on a KC-135 on its way for a resupply mission from Kadena AB to Thailand to perform air-to-air refueling operations during the exercise, where delivered to the Airmen working at Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base.

During the visit to the foster home  Airmen from the U.S Air Force and the Royal Thai air force delivered the donated items form the USAF, RTAF and the Republic of Singapore air force.

Presenting the donations on behalf of the American Airmen, U.S. Air Force Exercise Director Col. Paul Johnson said, "It's very special for me to be here."

Speaking for the children and the staff of the foster home, Sootoo Sonsawan, the home's director, thanked the three air forces for their generous donations.

After the presentation, some of the older children performed a Thai dance while wearing traditional costume , sharing with the Airmen a little Thai culture.

The Airmen then served the children lunch and spent a little time chatting with them. Before departing, Johnson said to the children that he had "been flying airplanes for 22 years, but being here today is more important to me than those 22 years of flying."

The Airmen are in Thailand taking part in the annual Exercise CT15, which focused on multinational interoperability and regional partnerships and is aimed at increasing readiness, cooperation and interoperability among security forces, contributing to maritime security, counterterrorism, search and rescue and humanitarian disaster relief efforts in the Asia-Pacific region.

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