by Capt. George Tobias
Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs
3/13/2015 - KORAT ROYAL THAI AIR FORCE BASE, Thailand - -- The roar of jets filled the sky March 9 over central Thailand during Exercise Cope Tiger 15.
With a focus on multinational interoperability and regional
partnerships, aviation and ground units from the United States, the
Kingdom of Thailand and the Republic of Singapore are participating in
the annual multilateral aerial exercise.
Cope Tiger 15 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.
Using a sports analogy to describe the training, U.S. Air Force Exercise
Director Col. Paul Johnson said, "You do not walk out to a game without
practicing. You have to practice a lot, and that is essentially what we
are doing here."
Johnson explained with exercises like Cope Tiger, which allows the three
air forces to practice together and understand how they work, it allows
the air forces, when called upon, to handle operations like
humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, to hit the ground running
and "operate very efficiently and very quickly."
As the first U.S. multilateral air exercise in Southeast Asia, the
annual Cope Tiger exercise demonstrates the U.S. commitment to the
theater and to addressing regional security challenges and ensuring
freedom of the seas through multilateral collaboration.
"The U.S. and Thailand have a long relationship," said Royal Thai air force Exercise Director Group Captain Chanon Mungthanya.
He further stressed the importance of the realistic multilateral
training of Cope Tiger, so "we understand what we have, what the U.S.
has and what the Republic of Singapore has," when called upon for real
world operations or to provide HA/DR support."
Approximately 390 U.S. personnel are participating in the exercise, with
approximately 1,000 service members from Thailand and Singapore. The
multilateral exercise involves a combined total of 84 aircraft and 38
air defense assets from the three contributing countries.