PANGKALAN UDARA BUTTERWORTH AIR BASE, Malaysia --
A closing ceremony for Cope Taufan 16 was held at Butterworth Air Base, Malaysia on July 29, 2016.
Cope Taufan 16 provided an excellent opportunity to improve combined readiness and interoperability between the U.S. and Malaysia. This large force employment exercise included operations in air superiority, airborne command and control, close air support, interdiction, air refueling and tactical airlift and air drop.
During the closing ceremony, Col. Sun Thong, Royal Malaysian Air Force exercise director, briefed on the accomplishments of this year’s exercise, stating that the Force Integration Training had an 82 percent success rate. Despite poor weather and aircraft issues, the total force completed 345 sorties during the 14-day exercise.
“Throughout this exercise you were able to integrate all of these forces to focus on dissimilar air combat tactics, tactical airdrop, large force employment aerial refueling and combat search and rescue training,” said Maj. Gen. Thomas P. Harwood III, Chief-Mobilization Assistant to Commander Pacific Forces. “You executed these mission sets in a fast-paced and continually evolving complex exercise resulting in a truly interoperable team and underscoring what we do best… air power,” said Harwood.
Enhancing U.S. and Malaysia readiness and capabilities during Cope Taufan 16 is necessary in order to promote regional security.
“This exercise has had a significant impact to security and stability in the region,” said Harwood. “Our combined air forces have enhanced readiness and interoperability reinforced commitment to the Indo-Asia- Pacific region and demonstrated the capability to project internal forces strategically in a dynamic environment.”
Also in attendance was, Maj. Gen. Datuk Hj Romiee Yahaya, Chief of Staff Air Operation Command Headquarters Royal Malaysian Air Force.
“Cope Taufan is an excellent platform for the U.S. and Malaysia, especially for the armed forces, to improve our combined readiness and corporation,” said Maj. Gen. Yahaya.
The exercise had exceptional benefits to training, readiness, and the U.S. alliance with Malaysia. Participation from both countries demonstrated U.S. commitment to the military rebalance in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
“I strongly believe that both air forces have achieved the exercise aim, which is to enhance bilateral ties that will improve readiness, cooperation, and enhance combat capabilities by providing realistic live flying training opportunities, while also promoting regional peace and security,” said Yahaya.