The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF), Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) and United States Air Force (USAF) aircraft participating in a flying training exercise. (photos : Sing Mindef)
The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF), the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) and the United States Air Force (USAF) are participating in the flying training phase of Exercise Cope Tiger, held at Korat Air Base, Thailand from 12 to 22 March 2018. The exercise, the 24th in its series, is conducted in two phases. The first phase was a command post exercise held in Singapore from 6 to 7 December 2017.
This year's edition of the annual trilateral exercise involves 58 aircraft, 39 ground-based air defence (GBAD) systems, and about 1,300 personnel from the participating nations. The RSAF is participating in the exercise with 14 aircraft (6 F-15SG and 6 F-16C/D fighter aircraft, 1 Gulfstream 550 Airborne Early Warning aircraft, and 1 KC-135R tanker aircraft), 4 GBAD systems, and approximately 380 personnel.
Today marked the start of a large-scale multilateral air combat exercise among the three air forces, following two and a half days of combined familiarisation training. The exercise participants will be engaging in large-scale air combat and strike missions in a challenging environment which allows them to hone and sharpen their operational competencies.
The RSAF Exercise Director for Exercise Cope Tiger 2018, Colonel Ho Kum Luen, shared his views on the significance of the exercise. He said, "Exercise Cope Tiger provides us with a valuable opportunity to train regularly alongside our friends from Thailand and the United States. It allows our airmen and women to hone their air combat skills, and to drill the planning and execution of large-scale air combat operations in air defence and strike missions. More importantly, the exercise enhances the interoperability among the three participating nations. The conduct of this exercise bears testament to the professionalism of all exercise participants, and the strong defence relationship shared by the RSAF, the RTAF and the USAF."
In addition to the training activities, the exercise participants will take part in a two-day joint socio-civic programme on 14 and 16 March 2018 to donate educational and sports equipment to local schools as well as provide basic health and dental services to the local community in the vicinity of Korat Air Base and Chandy Range.
Conducted annually since 1994, Exercise Cope Tiger seeks to enhance the professionalism and interoperability among the participating forces, and promote closer rapport and mutual understanding among their personnel.