By Tay Hong Yi
The Straits Times
Asia News Network
The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) concluded the 23rd edition of Exercise Cope Tiger, an annual trilateral air exercise, with the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) and the United States Pacific Air Forces (US Pacaf) in a closing ceremony held yesterday.
The two-phase exercise comprised a planning exercise - which was held in December last year at Changi Naval Base's Multinational Operations and Exercise Centre - and a flying training exercise at Korat Air Force Base in Thailand, said the Ministry of Defence in a release.
A total of 22 aircraft, eight ground-based air defence systems and approximately 800 personnel represented RSAF in the 11-day exercise, which lasted from March 20 till Thursday.
Three of the RSAF aircraft deployed in the exercise were Heron-1 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The UAVs saw action in Exercise Cope Tiger for the first time in a combined UAV training exercise with the RTAF's Aerostar UAVs.
"The successful conduct of the exercise has further enhanced our inter-operability, and bears testament to the strong defence relationship shared between the three participating countries," said Colonel Chan Ching Hao, who was RSAF's exercise director for Exercise Cope Tiger.
The exercise participants also took part in a two-day joint community service programme, providing basic health and dental services to the local community in the surrounding vicinity of Korat Air Force Base and Chandy Range.
The exercise's closing ceremony was officiated by Singapore's Chief of Air Force, Major-General Meryvn Tan; Chief of the Air Staff in the RTAF, Air Chief Marshal Surasak Toongtong; and Air National Guard Assistant to the Commander of the US Pacaf, Major-General James O. Eifert.