'Warthogs' take flight at Cope Tiger
By Capt. Genieve David, 13th Air Force Public Affairs
/ Published March 05, 2010
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.