Combined training at KHQ pays dividends

  • Published
  • By Capt. Yvonne Levardi
  • Kenney Headquarters (13AF) Public Affairs
Thai, Singaporean, Indonesian, Japanese and U.S. military forces wrapped up a successful Cobra Gold exercise May 24.

“Overall, it was a great experience,” said Brig. Gen. Gregory Ihde, Kenney Headquarters vice commander and deputy combined forces air component commander for the exercise. “The engagement was exactly what it should have been, and we made some long-lasting friendships with our counterparts in the Pacific.”

Cobra Gold ‘06 consisted of a command post exercise, multiple field training exercises and humanitarian operations throughout Central Thailand, in the Thai Gulf and at Hickam Air Force Base.

The CPX was a simulated wartime/peace enforcement situation where combined forces had to react to real-world situations. At the Kenney Headquarters Pacific Air Operations Center, a staff of operations personnel – including 10 embedded Thai and 5 Singaporean officers – planned and executed the simulated air operations portion of the exercise for Air Vice Marshall Srichown Chanruang, Royal Thai Air Force, Combined Forces Air Component Commander during Cobra Gold.

“We follow the same procedures (as the U.S.) so when we came here we had some background knowledge from Thailand to help in the exercise,” said Group Captain Noi Parkperm, RTAF and AOC deputy director during the exercise.

“In this year’s Cobra Gold the learning experience was tremendous,” said Lt. Col. Calvin Ng, Singaporean Air Force. “We were embedded right from the start of the exercise and we’ve held positions from director level to division level in plans, operations, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.”

General Ihde said overall there were many good lessons learned during the exercise and that being able to work together as an integrated team with allies in the Pacific is a positive benefit.

“This was possible because instead of using folks as liaisons, we had people embedded both here in the AOC and in Thailand,” the general said. “Exercising the ability to smoothly fall into operations with our coalition partners will pay big dividends if they need assistance in the future.”