2,100 Soldiers From Several Countries Participating In Large
Force Employment Exercise
The sky here has been alive with the sounds of military aircraft
from Thailand, Singapore and the United States supporting exercise
Cope Tiger 05.
“Every year there are challenges that you deal
with,” said Col. George Daniels, exercise director from
Maxwell Air Force Base (AL). “The exercise players know how
to do their jobs. They are professional, and they come out here and
execute their mission.”
Cope Tiger is a Joint Chiefs of Staff-directed flight-training
exercise that focuses on large force employment, where large
numbers of different aircraft fly against each other simultaneously
to simulate aerial combat.
More than 2,100 people are participating in Cope Tiger,
including about 620 American servicemembers and 1,500 from Thailand
and Singapore. U.S. Airmen include 144 troops from the Hawaii Air
National Guard's 154th Wing at Hickam AFB and nearly 170 from the
18th Wing at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Aircraft and Sailors from the
USS Lincoln are also participating in the joint exercise.
“It is joint and combined the whole way through the
process,” Colonel Daniels said.
Another facet of the exercise is the opportunities to get
involved with off-base civil activities. A humanitarian civil
assistance mission involving both sailors and airmen brought oral
and eye care to local villages. They treated more than 1,000
Trips also were taken to local schools to teach conversational
English, and servicemembers visited day-care centers where they
spent time with the children and in some cases played instruments
“These activities provide a great environment where the
local community sees this exercise as much more than just a field
training exercise,” Colonel Daniels said.
This is his second year as the exercise director where he is in
charge of all U.S. military forces involved in the exercise.
“The corporate knowledge provided by coming back a second
time helps facilitate our relationships with Thailand and
Singapore,” Colonel Daniels said. “A lot of the same
staff members from the Thai and Singaporean militaries have
returned this year, and we continue to build on outstanding working
This year, participation in the exercise took an unexpected
change in the aftermath of the December 26 tsunamis that caused
“We are fortunate to be able to accomplish this exercise
in the wake of tsunami-relief operations,” Colonel Daniels
said. “Cope Tiger is important for the countries involved --
it facilitates working effectively together in emergency
situations, such as the tsunami relief.
“The Marines were diverted at the last minute to do
tsunami relief, which was the right thing to do, and the Navy was
afforded the opportunity to participate in the exercise,” he
said. “The Navy has been a great addition to the exercise
this year, and we appreciate their willingness to
Colonel Daniels said he is very content that the exercise has
met its goal of regional engagement as the pilots train to fly
with, and against, dissimilar aircraft.
“We have three countries working together towards a common
goal -- learning how to interoperate as we learn the respective
strengths and weaknesses of each others’ airframes,” he
(Our thanks to 2nd. Lt. Ben Sakrisson of U.S. Forces Japan