Cope Tiger Roars to a Close

More than 1,200 service members and civilians from the US, Thailand, and Singapore wrapped up two weeks of joint training March 18 in the Pacific. The 22nd year of exercise Cope Tiger began March 7 at Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, and included mission planning, airborne air control, in-flight air refueling, electronic warfare, airlift, and close air support. The exercise “not only builds [USAF] capabilities, but also [Royal Thai Air Force] and [Republic of Singapore Air Force] capabilities by reinforcing common training standards and team work,” said Lt. Col. Jack Arthaud, the USAF exercise director. This year’s exercise incorporated the trilateral Link 16 tactical data exchange network for the first time, which is fundamental for interoperability, according to a press release. “This is a huge leap in technical capabilities that enhances our effectiveness and partnership,” Arthaud said. A combined 87 aircraft and 48 air defense assets from the US, Thailand, and Singapore participated in the exercise, with the 18th Wing at Kadena AB, Japan, providing 12 F-15s and one E-3B Sentry.