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Cope Taufan
Lee McClenny talks with Airmen from the 67th Fighter Squadron and 67th Aircraft Maintenance Unit April 13, 2012, following the closing ceremony of Cope Taufan 2012 at TUDM Butterworth, Malaysia. Cope Taufan is a live-flying exercise designed around dissimilar basic fighter maneuvers and dissimilar air combat tactics training between the U.S. Air Force and Royal Malaysian Air Force. McClenny is the deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Matt Summers)
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U.S., Maylasia air forces conclude exercise Cope Taufan 2012

Posted 4/16/2012   Updated 4/16/2012 Email story   Print story


by Master Sgt. Matt Summers
Cope Taufan 2012 Public Affairs

4/16/2012 - TUDM BUTTERWORTH, Malaysia -- After completing more than 140 sorties and several hundred flying hours, the U.S. Air Force and Royal Malaysian Air Force concluded exercise Cope Taufan 2012 at the Royal Malaysian Air Force base here, April 13.

The Pacific Air Forces-sponsored live-flying exercise, that included USAF F-15 Eagles from the 67th Fighter Squadron at Kadena Air Base, Japan, and four different airframes from the RMAF, allowed U.S. and Royal Malaysian air force pilots to hone their skills in dissimilar basic fighter maneuvers, combat search and rescue, and dissimilar air combat tactics for the first time during Cope Taufan 2012.

"(Cope Taufan is) an important mil-to-mil engagement that binds our two countries together," said Lee McClenny, deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, who made his first visit to TUDM Butterworth since assuming his current position in August 2011. "Your extreme hospitality and friendship furthers our long-term relationship and enhances our ability to work together," he said during the closing ceremony.

Royal Malaysian Col. Suri bin Daud, Cope Taufan 2012 exercise director, said the RMAF hopes to increase the scale of activities and training for future exercises.

"All the planning of activities are a means to an end," he said. "That end is the mutual understanding between our countries and our Air Forces." He added, "How we focus on our missions and how we support each other strengthens our mutual bonds."

Hours before the closing ceremony, RMAF and USAF members traveled back to the Pertubuhan Pembangunan Anak-Anak Yatim Bekas Perajurit orphanage in Kulim where one week earlier the combined team spent nearly five hours mixing and pouring concrete for a multi-use sports court, which will be used for volleyball, badminton or sepak takraw (a traditional Malaysian game) and other sports.

The orphanage, a one-of-a-kind facility in northwestern Malaysia, currently houses 50 children ranging in age from 10 to 17 years old who are all orphans of former Malaysian armed forces members.

U.S. Air Force Airmen representing the 67th FS and 67th Aircraft Maintenance Unit, who were honored guests at a dedication ceremony for the new court, also got a chance to give gifts to the children. The gifts included two water cooling systems, various sports equipment and toys.

"We had such a fun time while you were here," said Nurhafiza Husna Binti Halim, a resident of the orphanage, said during the ceremony. "All of your kindness will be treasured close to our hearts."

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