Cope Tiger 2016 concludes

KORAT ROYAL THAI AIR FORCE BASE, Thailand -- Months of planning and two weeks of flying and working side-by-side, came to an end for the participants of the 22nd iteration of Exercise Cope Tiger 16, during a closing ceremony, held here March 18.

Cope Tiger is an annual multilateral aerial exercise supporting regional peace and security by improving readiness and multi-national interoperability between the Republic of Singapore Air Force, Royal Thai Air Force and U.S. Air Force.

In addition, trilateral civic assistance programs conducted during Cope Tiger 16 helped to promote good relationships between the three countries’ forces and Thai communities near Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base.

The closing ceremony was co-officiated by U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Micheal Compton, Air National Guard assistant to the commander with Pacific Air Forces at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii; Republic of Singapore Air Force Brig. Gen. Hoo Cher Mou, chief of air force; and Royal Thai Air Force Air Chief Marshal Treetod Sonjance, commander-in-chief of the air force.

During the ceremony, Sonjance thanked all the participants and credited the success of the exercise to their hard work.

“Exercises Cope Tiger is good opportunity for all participants to exchange experiences and learn new tactics,” Sonjance said. “The exercises allowed us to enhance our operational efficiency and defense relations, helping maintain stability in the region. I hope this exercise has created a long lasting good will and friendship between all the participants.”

The 220 U.S. personnel participating in the exercise worked together with approximately 1,850 service members from Thailand and Singapore. The multilateral exercise involved a combined total of 87 aircraft and 48 air defense assets from the three participating countries.

Over the course of the exercise, Airmen from the 67th Fighter Squadron Kadena Air Base, Japan, flew 136 sorties. They were supported by Airmen from the 67th Aircraft Maintenance Unit from Kadena Air Base, Japan, who delivered a 98.5 percent mission effective rate for the 12 F-15 Eagles during the two week exercise.

“Lt. Col. McFarland, 67th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron commander, and Chief Martin, 67th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron command chief, are tremendous leaders and their unit reflects a shared commitment to excellence,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Jack Arthaud, 67th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron exercise director. "The fighter pilots and maintainers performed miraculously as a team and a family to represent the USAF and PACAF exceptionally well!”

Additionally, Arthaud talked about the importance of Exercise Cope Tiger.

“Flying training exercises, such as Cope Tiger 16 are essential to developing air combat experience for our young Airmen through realistic training scenarios while operating in a deployed environment,” said Arthaud. “This shared experience is the cornerstone of multilateral combat readiness enabling combined interoperability during overseas contingency operations. Ultimately though, the greatest effect of Cope Tiger 16 is sustaining the relationships we share with the RTAF and RSAF, two key partner Air Forces, and our combined resolve to support the stability and security of the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.”