US, Philippine Air Forces to conduct Cope Thunder, first since 1990

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Michael S. Murphy
  • Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs

Cope Thunder 23-2, a Pacific Air Forces-sponsored exercise, is scheduled to take place July 2 through 21, with primary flight operations over Clark Air Base, Mactan Air Base, and other airfields within the Philippines.

Approximately 225 service members are expected to fly, maintain, and support aircraft such as C-130 Hercules, A-10 Warthogs and F-22 Raptors from multiple participating units during this iteration of the exercise.

Cope Thunder is designed to provide bilateral fighter training with the Philippine Air Force and improve combined interoperability. This iteration has a specific emphasis on expeditionary operations. The U.S. and Philippine service members will exercise together to exchange tactics, techniques and procedures within the Indo-Pacific.

Cope Thunder began in the Philippines in 1976. It was moved to Eielson Air Force Base in 1992, and eventually renamed Red Flag Alaska. This is the first year Cope Thunder returned to Philippines since 1990 and provides a unique opportunity to integrate forces and improve interoperability between the Philippines and the United States.