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'Warthogs' take flight at Cope Tiger

Airmen from the 25th Aircraft Maintenance Unit at Osan Air Base, South Korea, discard the “remove before flight” streamers prior to an A-10 Thunderbolt II take-off at Udon Thani Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, on March 4. The Airmen are participating in the annual, multilateral field training exercise involving the U.S. Air Force, Royal Thai Air Force and Army, and the Republic of Singapore Air Force March 1-12.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Genieve David)

Airmen from the 25th Aircraft Maintenance Unit at Osan Air Base, South Korea, discard the “remove before flight” streamers prior to an A-10 Thunderbolt II take-off at Udon Thani Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, on March 4, 2010. The Airmen are participating in the annual, multilateral field training exercise involving the U.S. Air Force, Royal Thai Air Force and Army, and the Republic of Singapore Air Force March 1-12. (U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Genieve David)

Capt. James Hunt reviews flight information with his fellow A-10 Thunderbolt II pilots prior to embarking on a four-ship training mission at Udon Thani Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, March 4. Captain Hunt is deployed to the exercise from the 25th Fighter Squadron at Osan Air Base, South Korea.  His squadron is participating in the annual, multilateral field training exercise involving the U.S. Air Force, Royal Thai Air Force and Army, and the Republic of Singapore Air Force March 1-12.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Genieve David)

Capt. James Hunt reviews flight information with his fellow A-10 Thunderbolt II pilots prior to embarking on a four-ship training mission at Udon Thani Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, March 4, 2010. Captain Hunt is deployed to the exercise from the 25th Fighter Squadron at Osan Air Base, South Korea. His squadron is participating in the annual, multilateral field training exercise involving the U.S. Air Force, Royal Thai Air Force and Army, and the Republic of Singapore Air Force March 1-12. (U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Genieve David)

Airmen from the 25th Fighter Squadron at Osan Air Base, South Korea, walk to their aircraft at Udon Thani Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, March 4 before conducting the first of several planned missions as part of Cope Tiger 2010.  The Airmen are participating in the annual, multilateral field training exercise involving the U.S. Air Force, Royal Thai Air Force and Army, and the Republic of Singapore Air Force March 1-12.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Genieve David)

Airmen from the 25th Fighter Squadron at Osan Air Base, South Korea, walk to their aircraft at Udon Thani Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, March 4, 2010, before conducting the first of several planned missions as part of Cope Tiger 2010. The Airmen are participating in the annual, multilateral field training exercise involving the U.S. Air Force, Royal Thai Air Force and Army, and the Republic of Singapore Air Force March 1-12. (U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Genieve David)

Senior Airman Graeme Clark prepares the cockpit of an A-10 Thunderbolt II March 4 for pilots participating in Cope Tiger 2010 at Udon Thani Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand.  Airman Clark is deployed to the exercise from Osan Air Base, South Korea.  Airmen from Osan are participating in the annual, multilateral field training exercise involving the U.S. Air Force, Royal Thai Air Force and Army, and the Republic of Singapore Air Force March 1-12.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Genieve David)

Senior Airman Graeme Clark prepares the cockpit of an A-10 Thunderbolt II March 4, 2010, for pilots participating in Cope Tiger 2010 at Udon Thani Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand. Airman Clark is deployed to the exercise from Osan Air Base, South Korea. Airmen from Osan are participating in the annual, multilateral field training exercise involving the U.S. Air Force, Royal Thai Air Force and Army, and the Republic of Singapore Air Force March 1-12. (U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Genieve David)

Capt. Matthew Lackey conducts an exterior inspection of an A-10 Thunderbolt II prior to flying the first A-10 mission of Cope Tiger 2010 at Udon Thani Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, on March 4. Captain Lackey is deployed to the exercise from the 25th Fighter Squadron at Osan Air Base, South Korea.  His squadron is participating in the annual, multilateral field training exercise involving the U.S. Air Force, Royal Thai Air Force and Army, and the Republic of Singapore Air Force March 1-12.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Genieve David)

Capt. Matthew Lackey conducts an exterior inspection of an A-10 Thunderbolt II prior to flying the first A-10 mission of Cope Tiger 2010 at Udon Thani Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, on March 4, 2010. Captain Lackey is deployed to the exercise from the 25th Fighter Squadron at Osan Air Base, South Korea. His squadron is participating in the annual, multilateral field training exercise involving the U.S. Air Force, Royal Thai Air Force and Army, and the Republic of Singapore Air Force March 1-12. (U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Genieve David)

Capt. Matthew Lackey conducts an exterior inspection of an A-10 Thunderbolt II prior to flying the first A-10 mission of Cope Tiger 2010 at Udon Thani Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, on March 4. Captain Lackey is deployed to the exercise from the 25th Fighter Squadron at Osan Air Base, South Korea.  His squadron is participating in the annual, multilateral field training exercise involving the U.S. Air Force, Royal Thai Air Force and Army, and the Republic of Singapore Air Force March 1-12.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Genieve David)

Capt. Matthew Lackey conducts an exterior inspection of an A-10 Thunderbolt II prior to flying the first A-10 mission of Cope Tiger 2010 at Udon Thani Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, on March 4, 2010. Captain Lackey is deployed to the exercise from the 25th Fighter Squadron at Osan Air Base, South Korea. His squadron is participating in the annual, multilateral field training exercise involving the U.S. Air Force, Royal Thai Air Force and Army, and the Republic of Singapore Air Force March 1-12. (U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Genieve David)

Capt. Matthew Lackey straps in to an A-10 Thunderbolt II prior to flying the first A-10 mission of Cope Tiger 2010 at Udon Thani Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, on March 4. Captain Lackey is deployed to the exercise from the 25th Fighter Squadron at Osan Air Base, South Korea.  His squadron is participating in the annual, multilateral field training exercise involving the U.S. Air Force, Royal Thai Air Force and Army, and the Republic of Singapore Air Force March 1-12.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Genieve David)

Capt. Matthew Lackey straps in to an A-10 Thunderbolt II prior to flying the first A-10 mission of Cope Tiger 2010 at Udon Thani Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, on March 4, 2010. Captain Lackey is deployed to the exercise from the 25th Fighter Squadron at Osan Air Base, South Korea. His squadron is participating in the annual, multilateral field training exercise involving the U.S. Air Force, Royal Thai Air Force and Army, and the Republic of Singapore Air Force March 1-12. (U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Genieve David)

Capt. Matthew Lackey straps in to an A-10 Thunderbolt II prior to flying the first A-10 mission of Cope Tiger 2010 at Udon Thani Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, on March 4. Captain Lackey is deployed to the exercise from the 25th Fighter Squadron at Osan Air Base, South Korea.  His squadron is participating in the annual, multilateral field training exercise involving the U.S. Air Force, Royal Thai Air Force and Army, and the Republic of Singapore Air Force March 1-12.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Genieve David)

Capt. Matthew Lackey straps in to an A-10 Thunderbolt II prior to flying the first A-10 mission of Cope Tiger 2010 at Udon Thani Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, on March 4, 2010. Captain Lackey is deployed to the exercise from the 25th Fighter Squadron at Osan Air Base, South Korea. His squadron is participating in the annual, multilateral field training exercise involving the U.S. Air Force, Royal Thai Air Force and Army, and the Republic of Singapore Air Force March 1-12. (U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Genieve David)

Lt. Col. Charles Wahl amends the flight schedule for A-10 Thunderbolt II operations at Udon Thani Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, March 4 as part of Cope Tiger 2010.  Colonel Wahl is deployed to the exercise from the 25th Fighter Squadron at Osan Air Base, South Korea.  His squadron is participating in the annual, multilateral field training exercise involving the U.S. Air Force, Royal Thai Air Force and Army, and the Republic of Singapore Air Force March 1-12.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Genieve David)

Lt. Col. Charles Wahl amends the flight schedule for A-10 Thunderbolt II operations at Udon Thani Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, March 4, 2010, as part of Cope Tiger 2010. Colonel Wahl is deployed to the exercise from the 25th Fighter Squadron at Osan Air Base, South Korea. His squadron is participating in the annual, multilateral field training exercise involving the U.S. Air Force, Royal Thai Air Force and Army, and the Republic of Singapore Air Force March 1-12. (U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Genieve David)

Capt. Matthew Lackey secures his helmet prior to flying the first A-10 Thunderbolt II mission of Cope Tiger 2010 at Udon Thani Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, on March 4. Captain Lackey is deployed to the exercise from the 25th Fighter Squadron at Osan Air Base, South Korea.  His squadron is participating in the annual, multilateral field training exercise involving the U.S. Air Force, Royal Thai Air Force and Army, and the Republic of Singapore Air Force March 1-12.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Genieve David)
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Capt. Matthew Lackey secures his helmet prior to flying the first A-10 Thunderbolt II mission of Cope Tiger 2010 at Udon Thani Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, on March 4, 2010. Captain Lackey is deployed to the exercise from the 25th Fighter Squadron at Osan Air Base, South Korea. His squadron is participating in the annual, multilateral field training exercise involving the U.S. Air Force, Royal Thai Air Force and Army, and the Republic of Singapore Air Force March 1-12. (U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Genieve David)

Staff Sgt. Douglas Brown conducts a weapons system check on the A-10 Thunderbolt II at Udon Thani Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, on March 4.  Sergeant Brown is deployed to Cope Tiger 2010 from the 25th Aircraft Maintenance Unit at Osan Air Base, South Korea. The exercise is an annual, multilateral field training exercise involving the U.S. Air Force, Royal Thai Air Force and Army, and Republic of Singapore Air Force March 1-12.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Genieve David)
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Staff Sgt. Douglas Brown conducts a weapons system check on the A-10 Thunderbolt II at Udon Thani Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, on March 4, 2010. Sergeant Brown is deployed to Cope Tiger 2010 from the 25th Aircraft Maintenance Unit at Osan Air Base, South Korea. The exercise is an annual, multilateral field training exercise involving the U.S. Air Force, Royal Thai Air Force and Army, and Republic of Singapore Air Force March 1-12. (U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Genieve David)

An A-10 Thunderbolt II taxis on the runway at Udon Thani Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, on March 4 as part of Cope Tiger 2010.  Cope Tiger is an annual, multilateral field training exercise involving the U.S. Air Force, Royal Thai Air Force and Army, and the Republic of Singapore Air Force March 1-12.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Genieve David)
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An A-10 Thunderbolt II taxis on the runway at Udon Thani Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, on March 4, 2010, as part of Cope Tiger 2010. Cope Tiger is an annual, multilateral field training exercise involving the U.S. Air Force, Royal Thai Air Force and Army, and the Republic of Singapore Air Force March 1-12. (U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Genieve David)

A-10 Thunderbolt II crew chiefs and weapons loaders prepare their Osan Air Base, South Korea, jets for shutdown after their return from a Cope Tiger 2010 training mission at Udon Thani Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, on March 5.  Cope Tiger is an annual, multilateral aerial large force exercise conducted in Thailand that includes humanitarian and civic assistance programs. This year?s exercise takes place primarily at Udon Thani and Korat Royal Thai Air Force Bases. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Cohen A. Young)
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A-10 Thunderbolt II crew chiefs and weapons loaders prepare their Osan Air Base, South Korea, jets for shutdown after their return from a Cope Tiger 2010 training mission at Udon Thani Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, on March 5, 2010. Cope Tiger is an annual, multilateral aerial large force exercise conducted in Thailand that includes humanitarian and civic assistance programs. This year's exercise takes place primarily at Udon Thani and Korat Royal Thai Air Force Bases. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Cohen A. Young)

An A-10 Thunderbolt II from Osan Air Base, South Korea, returns from a Cope Tiger 2010 training mission at Udon Thani Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, on March 5.  Cope Tiger is an annual, multilateral aerial large force exercise conducted in Thailand that includes humanitarian and civic assistance programs. This year?s exercise takes place primarily at Udon Thani and Korat Royal Thai Air Force Bases. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Cohen A. Young)
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An A-10 Thunderbolt II from Osan Air Base, South Korea, returns from a Cope Tiger 2010 training mission at Udon Thani Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, on March 5, 2010. Cope Tiger is an annual, multilateral aerial large force exercise conducted in Thailand that includes humanitarian and civic assistance programs. This year's exercise takes place primarily at Udon Thani and Korat Royal Thai Air Force Bases. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Cohen A. Young)

UDON THANI ROYAL THAI AIR FORCE BASE, Thailand -- Flying operations for the A-10 Thunderbolt IIs participating in Cope Tiger 2010 kicked-off with a four-ship training mission here March 4.

Cope Tiger is a multilateral, combined and joint command post and field training exercise involving the United States, Thailand and Singapore. This year's takes place at Korat and Udon Thani Royal Thai Air Force Bases March 1 to 12 in Thailand.

The four 'Warthogs,' as the A-10 is affectionately called, are based out of Osan Air Base, South Korea. They exercised a basic surface attack mission with simulated weapons at the Nam Phong Range in Thailand.

"It's an amazing opportunity to be able to participate in the exercise," said 1st Lt. Bennett Merriman, a pilot with the 25th Fighter Squadron at Osan AB. "We gain valuable training and have the opportunity to learn from one another."

This is not the first time the 25th FS has been to Thailand. In 1968, the squadron was stationed at Ubon and Udorn Royal Thai AFBs as the 25th Tactical Fighter Squadron and conducted combat operations in Vietnam.

Almost a decade later, the squadron was reassigned to Japan until 1981 and finally activated under the 51st Fighter Wing at Osan AB, where it resides today. The lieutenant said he was proud to carry on the squadron's tradition through events like Cope Tiger.

"The exercise allows our combined forces a way to develop multilateral interoperability and procedures," said Lieutenant Merriman, who is currently upgrading in combat search and rescue. "We are glad to participate with Thailand and Singapore in Cope Tiger."

Cope Tiger 2010 is a multilateral exercise involving the U.S. Air Force, Royal Thai Air Force and Army, and Republic of Singapore Air Force. U.S. participation is led by 13th Air Force at JB Pearl Harbor Hickam, on behalf of Pacific Air Forces.