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Hawaii Air Guard participates in Cope Tiger

by Maj. Stacee Bako
Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs

1/24/2005 - KORAT ROYAL THAI AIR FORCE BASE, Thailand (AFPN) -- Eight F-15 Eagles and 70 Airmen from the Hawaii Air National Guard's 199th Fighter Squadron deployed here Jan. 24 for Cope Tiger 2005. They were here to practice their flying-training skills with Thai and Singaporean airmen, and U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force air and ground support crews.

This is the 11th time U.S. forces have participated in the Royal Thai air force-led, Cope Tiger since 1992. The joint- and combined-multilateral training exercise will wrap up Feb. 4.

"Cope Tiger is giving us the opportunity to integrate into a seamless organization with our active-duty counterparts and our Thai and Singaporean allies," said Maj. Christopher Faurot, assistant director of operations for the 199th FS and operations officer for the deployed 199th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron.

"We've (joined) with other Guard units, but we're testing the waters to see whether or not we can employ this concept for real-world operations with active-duty units," Major Faurot said.

F-15 aircraft and crews from both the 199th FS and the 44th FS from Kadena Air Base, Japan, will form a combined active-duty and Guard unit.

Two joint teams will form, consisting of the flying forces from each of the participating countries. These two opposing teams will fly air-to-air and air-to-ground exercise combat missions using a variety of aircraft weapon systems, officials said.

The aircrews will participate in dissimilar basic fighter maneuver training, dissimilar air combat tactics training, close air support training, and large force employment training. Additionally, forces will exercise airborne and land-based control of mission packages, air refueling, search and rescue procedures and common operational procedures at the unit level, such as mission planning and in-flight interoperability.

"It's important to continue to train our total force so they are ready for their primary mission of defense of the U.S. and its multinational partners," said Maj. Gen. David A. Deptula, Pacific Air Forces director of air and space operations. "And these exercises are key to building relationships of cooperation and interoperability with our allies."

More than 2,100 people will participate in the exercise, including about 620 U.S. servicemembers and 1,500 servicemembers from Thailand and Singapore.

Other units include the 961st Airborne Air Control Squadron from Kadena AB; the 962nd Airborne Air Control Squadron from Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska; 13th Air Force from Andersen AFB, Guam; and U.S. Navy Carrier Air Wing 2 from the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln.

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