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Yokota Airmen participate in Cope Tiger 2007

UDON THANI, Thailand -- Nearly 50 Yokota Air Base aircrews, maintainers and medics left Japan for Thailand and are participating in this year's Exercise Cope Tiger 2007.

Cope Tiger is a joint Thai and U.S. sponsored multi-lateral command post exercise, field training exercise and humanitarian civic service exercise between the nations of Thailand, Singapore and the U.S.

Approximately 600 personnel from the United States and 600 combined from Singapore and Thailand are expected to participate in the two-week exercise.

For the aircrews from Yokota, Cope Tiger gives them a chance to practice in a different environment better preparing them for their real world mission.

"By going to different areas it helps train as if we were at war," said Capt. David Boyer, 36th Airlift Squadron deputy mission commander. "In Japan, there are constraints on where we can fly and how low we can fly. It is easy to develop a familiarity when you conduct airdrops repeatedly over the same area. Here in Thailand, there is a lot more freedom to where we can drop and how low we can fly adding a real-world dimension to our missions."

In addition to the field training portion of Cope Tiger, humanitarian projects play a large part of the exercise. The Cope Tiger humanitarian civil action project is a joint, combined team of medical, optometry and dental personnel from the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, Royal Thai Air Force and Republic of Singapore Air Force.

Teams will provide a variety of medical care to the local residents of the Nakhon Ratchasima (Korat) area of Thailand.

More than 2,000 men, women and children are expected to be seen during the projects. Exercise Cope Tiger runs through Feb. 9 in Udon Thani and Korat, Thailand.