Singapore, Thailand and US air forces participate in military exercise after two-year hiatus due to Covid-19

RSAF, RTAF and USAF fighter aircraft participating in the flying training exercise phase. PHOTO: MINDEF

SINGAPORE - The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) is taking part in a large-scale trilateral air exercise in Thailand, with its Multi-Role Tanker Transport involved for the first time.

The Airbus A330 plane provides air-to-air-refuelling to fighter aircraft, extending their endurance for longer missions.

In a statement on Wednesday (March 23), the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) said that the RSAF has sent 24 aircraft and more than 550 airmen to conduct air defence and strike missions.

The RSAF aircraft include two Heron 1 Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, one C-130 transport plane and one G550 airborne early warning aircraft.

In total, 70 assets and more than 1,100 personnel from Singapore, Thailand and the United States are taking part in the 26th edition of Exercise Cope Tiger, conducted at Korat Air Base in Thailand from March 13 to March 25.

It is resuming after a two-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

A table-top exercise involving all three nations to plan for the exercise was conducted on March 11, Mindef said.

RSAF exercise director, Colonel David Kok, said: "Exercise Cope Tiger provides invaluable training opportunities for our airmen and women.

"It helps hone our ability to plan and execute realistic large-scale air combat operations in both air defence and strike missions, so that we remain operationally ready and capable in safeguarding Singapore's skies."

Exercise directors for Exercise Cope Tiger 2022 at the flight line in Korat Air Base, Thailand. PHOTO: MINDEF

In addition to the flying training, personnel from the three air forces also took part in programmes to contribute to local communities near Korat Air Base.

Singapore's Chief of Air Force, Major-General Kelvin Khong, will officiate at the closing ceremony on March 25, along with representatives from the Thai and US air forces.

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