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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 054-98
February 06, 1998

COPE TIGER '98

Air forces from the United States, Thailand and Singapore, as well as U.S. Marines from Iwakuni, Japan, will participate in exercise Cope Tiger 98 in Thailand from Feb. 8-20, 1998.

Cope Tiger is an annual, multinational exercise conducted in two phases in the asia-pacific region. The first phase was a tactical seminar/command post workshop where aircrews from the three countries participated in mission planning. The first phase concluded at Paya Lebar Air Base, Singapore on Nov. 7, 1997. The second phase is the flying training exercise to take place at Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base (RTAFB) near the city of Nakhon Ratchasima (commonly called Korat), 110 miles northeast of Bangkok.

More than 1,100 people will participate, including approximately 500 U.S. servicemembers and 600 servicemembers from Thailand and Singapore. United States units include Marine Fighter Attack Squadron-212 (VMFA-212), from Marine Corps Air Station, Iwakuni, Japan; 18th Air Wing, from Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, Japan; Air Force Reserve 419th Fighter Wing, from Hill Air Force Base, Utah; Alaska Air National Guard 168th Air Refueling Wing, from Eielson AFB; the Royal Thai Air Force's 103rd Squadron and 102nd Squadron, Korat RTAFB; 211th Squadron, Ubon RTAFB; 711th and 401st Squadrons, Surat Thani RTAFB; 403rd Squadron, Takhli RTAFB; and the Republic of Singapore Air Force's 140th and 144th Fighter Squadrons, a basic Giraffe control unit and MISTRAL platoon (a radar and air defense team respectively) from Tengah AB, Singapore.

The flying training portion of the exercise promotes closer relations and enables air force units in the region to sharpen air combat skills and practice interoperability with U.S. Forces.

Pilots will fly both air-to-air and air-to-ground combat training missions. American pilots will fly F-15C/D Eagles, F/A-18C Hornets, F-16C Fighting Falcons, E-3B Sentry Airborne Warning and Control Systems (AWACS), and KC-135 Stratotankers. Thai Forces will Fly F-16A/B Fighting Falcons, F-5E Tigers and Ground Attack L-39's; and Singapore forces will Fly F-5E and F-16A/B Fighting Falcons.

With Thailand, Singapore, and United States concurrence, headquarters U.S. Pacific Air Forces has directed headquarters 13th Air Force, Andersen AFB, Guam, to stand up the combined air operations center (CAOC) and conduct air operations from Korat RTAFB. The CAOC will be staffed by American, Thai, and Singaporean personnel including the exercise directors.