The air forces from Singapore, Thailand and the United States (US) are participating in the flying training phase of Exercise Cope Tiger 2019, held at Korat Air Base, Thailand, from 11 to 22 March 2019. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the annual trilateral exercise.
Conducted in two phases, Exercise Cope Tiger 2019 comprises a command post exercise held in Singapore from 12 to 13 December 2018, and this ongoing flying training phase. The flying training phase involves a total of 69 aircraft, 29 Ground-Based Air Defence (GBAD) systems and about 2,000 personnel from the three participating nations. The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) is participating with 23 aircraft (seven F-15SG and 12 F-16 fighter aircraft, one G550 Airborne Early Warning aircraft, one KC-135R tanker aircraft and two Heron 1 Unmanned Aerial Vehicles), seven GBAD systems, and over 550 RSAF personnel. The exercise participants will engage in large-scale air defence and strike missions in a challenging environment, which will allow them to sharpen their operational competencies.
Sharing on the significance of this milestone exercise, RSAF Exercise Director for Exercise Cope Tiger 2019 Colonel Teo Soo Yeow said, "This year marks the 25th anniversary of Exercise Cope Tiger, which is testament to the enduring commitment and dedication of the three Air Forces to this trilateral exercise, as well as our close and long-standing defence relationships with our Thai and US counterparts. This annual exercise allows us to hone the cutting edge of our air combat readiness and operational capabilities, while enhancing our interoperability with like-minded partners."
In addition to these training activities, personnel from the three Air Forces will also take part in joint socio-civic programmes to donate educational and sports equipment to local schools, as well as to provide basic health and dental services to the local communities in the vicinity of the Korat Air Base and Chandy Range.
RSAF Chief of Staff-Air Staff Brigadier-General Tommy Tan Ah Han, Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Thai Air Force Air Chief Marshal Chaiyapruk Didyasarin, and Commander of the US Pacific Air Forces General Charles Q. Brown Jr. will officiate at the closing ceremony on 22 March 2019.
Conducted annually since 1994, Exercise Cope Tiger enhances the professionalism and interoperability among the participating forces, and promotes closer rapport and mutual understanding among their personnel.
Source: MINDEF Singapore