Successful completion of CCT signifies end of an era

EIELSON AFB, Alaska -- F16 fighter aircaft  from the 419th FW, Hill AFB stand ready against the back drop of Mt McKinley. The F16s are participating in Cooperative Cope Thunder 06-03 held at Eielson AFB, Alaska.  The multi-national exercise is being held from 20 July thru 5 August, 2006  USAF Photo By: SMSgt Jeff Rohloff

EIELSON AFB, Alaska -- F16 fighter aircaft from the 419th FW, Hill AFB stand ready against the back drop of Mt McKinley. The F16s are participating in Cooperative Cope Thunder 06-03 held at Eielson AFB, Alaska. The multi-national exercise is being held from 20 July thru 5 August, 2006 USAF Photo By: SMSgt Jeff Rohloff

EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska - Swedish Air Force, Unite States Air Force (USAF), Japan Air Self Defence Force, and Canadian Forces personnel board a USAF KC-135 Tanker for a familiarization flight during Excercise Cooperative Cope Thunder 06-3 (CCT06-3). Photo by Cpl J.A. Wilson, Excercise COOPERATIVE COPE THUNDER 06-3 Public Affairs

EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska - Swedish Air Force, Unite States Air Force (USAF), Japan Air Self Defence Force, and Canadian Forces personnel board a USAF KC-135 Tanker for a familiarization flight during Exercise Cooperative Cope Thunder 06-3 (CCT06-3). Photo by Cpl J.A. Wilson, Exercise COOPERATIVE COPE THUNDER 06-3 Public Affairs

EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska - The lineup at the Two Seasons dining hall for lunch. The dining hall has gotten quite busy during Excersise Co-operative Cope Thunder 06-3 (CCT06-3). Photo by Cpl J.A. Wilson, CCT06-3, Canadian Public Affairs

EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska - The lineup at the Two Seasons dining hall for lunch. The dining hall has gotten quite busy during Exercise Cooperative Cope Thunder 06-3 (CCT06-3). Photo by Cpl J.A. Wilson, CCT06-3, Canadian Public Affairs

EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska - A Japan Air Self Defence Force F-15 refuels from of a United States Air Force KC-135 Tanker during Excersise Cooperative Cope Thunder 06-3 (CCT06-3). Photo by Cpl J.A. Wilson, Excersise COOPERATIVE COPE THUNDER 06-3 Public Affairs

EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska - A Japan Air Self Defence Force F-15 refuels from of a United States Air Force KC-135 Tanker during Exercise Cooperative Cope Thunder 06-3 (CCT06-3). Photo by Cpl J.A. Wilson, Exercise COOPERATIVE COPE THUNDER 06-3 Public Affairs

EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska - Corporal (Cpl) Adam Vandenberg, an Aviation Technician from 409 Tactical Fighter Squadron uses hand motions to signal to the pilot of the CF-18 he is praparing to launch. Cpl Vandenberg, a native of Brandon On. is a participant in Excersise Cooperative Cope Thunder 06-3 (CCT06-3). CCT06-3 is an annually run excersise with missions being flown out of both Eielson and Elmendorf Air Force Base (AFB), Alaska from Jul 20 - Aug 5 2006. Excersise participants this year include Canada the United States, Japan, Sweden, Nato, Mongolia, South Korea, Germany, the Slovak Republic, and Australia. Observer nations include Mexico, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka Malaysia, and Russia. Approximately 1300 service personnel are participating, about 800 of those from the host nation. Photo by Cpl J.A. Wilson, CCT06-3 Canadian Public Affairs

EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska - Corporal (Cpl) Adam Vandenberg, an Aviation Technician from 409 Tactical Fighter Squadron uses hand motions to signal to the pilot of the CF-18 he is praparing to launch. Cpl Vandenberg, a native of Brandon On. is a participant in Exercise Cooperative Cope Thunder 06-3 (CCT06-3). CCT06-3 is an annually run excersise with missions being flown out of both Eielson and Elmendorf Air Force Base (AFB), Alaska from Jul 20 - Aug 5 2006. Excersise participants this year include Canada the United States, Japan, Sweden, Nato, Mongolia, South Korea, Germany and Australia. Observer nations include Mexico, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka Malaysia, and Russia. Approximately 1300 service personnel are participating, about 800 of those from the host nation. Photo by Cpl J.A. Wilson, CCT06-3 Canadian Public Affairs

EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska - Lieutenant Colonel Jose Antonio Sierra Amador and Captain Gerard de Jesus Navarro Mannon,the Mexican Air Force observers, speak with Colonel Rusty Cabot, Excersise Cooperative Cope Thunder 06-3 (CCT06-3) deployed forces commander. The Mexican Air Force is looking to participate in an exercise like sometime in the future.  Photo by Cpl J.A. Wilson, CCT06-3 Canadian Public Affairs

EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska - Lieutenant Colonel Jose Antonio Sierra Amador and Captain Gerard de Jesus Navarro Mannon,the Mexican Air Force observers, speak with Colonel Rusty Cabot, Exercise Cooperative Cope Thunder 06-3 (CCT06-3) deployed forces commander. The Mexican Air Force is looking to participate in an exercise like sometime in the future. Photo by Cpl J.A. Wilson, CCT06-3 Canadian Public Affairs

An Airman watches as an F-16 Fighting Falcon taxis past F-15s from the Japan Air Self Defense Force at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, on July 19. The F-16 was launching on a familiarization flight of Alaskan air space before the kick off of Cooperative Cope Thunder 06-3. (Photo by Cpl. J.A. Wilson, Canadian Public Affairs)

An Airman watches as an F-16 Fighting Falcon taxis past F-15s from the Japan Air Self Defense Force at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, on July 19. The F-16 was launching on a familiarization flight of Alaskan air space before the kick off of Cooperative Cope Thunder 06-3. (Photo by Cpl. J.A. Wilson, Canadian Public Affairs)

EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska -- Exercise Cooperative Cope Thunder comes to an end today at Eielson and Elmendorf Air Force Bases in Alaska.

As the deployed commander representing the 35th Fighter Wing--one of 5th Air Force's premiere fighter wings, Col. Cabot oversaw more than 1200 service-members from 13 different countries in what has been deemed the largest multi-national combat training exercise in the Pacific.

Assisted by his senior enlisted advisor and 35th Operations Group superintendent CMSgt Brett Allison, and the Air Expeditionary Group commander, Col. Greg Nelson, Col. Cabot and his staff successfully completed exercise Cooperative Cope Thunder 06-3.

Through outstanding cooperation by the 354 Fighter Wing and host wing commander Brig. Gen. David Scott, logistically the exercise provided more than 700 meals a day during lunch and dinner, 500 beds on and off base, fleet vehicles and other services that would typically put a large strain on most installations.

"I truly appreciate support of the host wing and I am very proud of what we have been able to accomplish here this year," said Col. Cabot. "We got people in, executed two weeks of air combat operations, and now we are sending people home. I would say that this was a very successful exercise," he said.

After this iteration of Cooperative Cope Thunder, the exercise will be called Red Flag Alaska. Along with the name change, Red Flag Alaska will carry with it all the training capabilities that Red Flag Nellis currently has--to include a dedicated aggressor squadron assigned Eielson.

Merging/transforming CCT into Red Flag Alaska also enhances the unique characteristics and strengths of both exercises and improves the quality of training for the participants and increases the number of training opportunities for both US and international forces.

Additionally, next year the 353 CTS and all operations for Red Flag Alaska will fall under the 354th Fighter Wing.

"We are excited about bring the 353CTS and Red Flag Alaska in to our fold," said Brig. Gen. Scott, 354 FW Commander.

"This fits right in with Air Force Smart Ops-21 initiatives," he said referring to how AFSO21 seeks to build on initial successes and work to fully integrate continuous improvement into all we do across the Air Force--especially in operational, maintenance, logistics, and support environments.

Now that the exercise is over, the redeployment of personnel and equipment will be the steady state over the next week. The entire process will start all over in a few months when planning for the next multi-national Red Flag Alaska begins.