by Capt. George Tobias
Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs
3/19/2015 - KORAT ROYAL THAI AIR FORCE BASE, Thailand -- The Shogun Warriors were out in force at this year's Exercise Cope Tiger 15 March 9 through 20 in Thailand.
Airmen with the 44th Fighter Squadron, the 961st Airborne Air Control
Squadron, and the 909th Air Refueling Squadron from the 18th Wing at
Kadena Air Base, Japan, brought F-15s, an E-3 and a KC-135,
respectively, to Thailand in support of CT15.
This year's exercise marks the first time in six years an E-3 from
Kadena AB was part of the annual multilateral exercise between the U.S.
Air Force, the Royal Thai air force and the Republic of Singapore air
"Cope Tiger brings all three air forces together, so we can become
interoperable," said Col. Paul Johnson, U.S. Air Force exercise
According to Johnson, the humanitarian disaster relief applications of this year's exercise were integral to its execution.
"If we need to [aid] of any of our Southeast Asian partners with the
assistance of the Thais and the Singaporeans, we are just that much
better off to get the job done, because we know our strengths and
weaknesses through the exercise we have done here at Cope Tiger," he
With a focus on multinational interoperability and regional
partnerships, Cope Tiger 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.
"The important thing for these exercises is really learning the
different cultural ways of going about the business of air power," said
Lt. Col. Frederick Coleman, 961st AACS commander. "When we train with
the Thais and we train with the Singaporean air forces, we are learning
from each other, both linguistically and tacitly."
As Coleman explained, reacting to a real world event is "not the time to
be learning our language differences, our cultural differences and our
tactical differences. We need to learn those differences now."
For all the Airmen taking part in the exercise, Johnson hopes they will
take away the aspects of coming to Thailand and working with their Thai
and Singaporean counterparts.
"I hope they are able to take away the expeditionary aspect of coming to
a foreign base, operating somewhere where you don't have all the
comforts of home, especially all the spare parts -- mom and dad or wife
and kids back at home," he said.
He added that he also hopes that these Airmen will be able to learn from
this experience, learn the limiting factors of working far from home
and "build upon their strengths, so when they come to do it for real in
the future, they are just that much better off for it.