U.S., Maylasia air forces conclude exercise Cope Taufan 2012

TUDM BUTTERWORTH, Malaysia (AFNS) — After com­plet­ing more than 140 sor­ties and sev­er­al hun­dred fly­ing hours, the U.S. Air Force and Roy­al Malaysian Air Force con­clud­ed exer­cise Cope Tau­fan 2012 at the Roy­al Malaysian Air Force base here, April 13.

Lee McClen­ny talks with Air­men from the 67th Fight­er Squadron and 67th Air­craft Main­te­nance Unit April 13, 2012, fol­low­ing the clos­ing cer­e­mo­ny of Cope Tau­fan 2012 at TUDM But­ter­worth, Malaysia. Cope Tau­fan is a live-fly­ing exer­cise designed around dis­sim­i­lar basic fight­er maneu­vers and dis­sim­i­lar air com­bat tac­tics train­ing between the U.S. Air Force and Roy­al Malaysian Air Force. McClen­ny is the deputy chief of mis­sion at the U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Matt Sum­mers)
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The Pacif­ic Air Forces-spon­sored, live-fly­ing exer­cise, that includ­ed F-15 Eagles from the 67th Fight­er Squadron at Kade­na Air Base, Japan, and four dif­fer­ent air­frames from the RMAF, allowed U.S. and Roy­al Malaysian air force pilots to hone their skills in dis­sim­i­lar basic fight­er maneu­vers, com­bat search and res­cue, and dis­sim­i­lar air com­bat tac­tics for the first time.

“(Cope Tau­fan is) an impor­tant (mil­i­tary to mil­i­tary) engage­ment that binds our two coun­tries togeth­er,” said Lee McClen­ny, the deputy chief of mis­sion at the U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, who made his first vis­it here since assum­ing his cur­rent posi­tion in August 2011. “Your extreme hos­pi­tal­i­ty and friend­ship fur­thers our long-term rela­tion­ship and enhances our abil­i­ty to work togeth­er,” he said dur­ing the clos­ing cer­e­mo­ny.

Roy­al Malaysian Col. Suri bin Daud, the Cope Tau­fan 2012 exer­cise direc­tor, said the RMAF hopes to increase the scale of activ­i­ties and train­ing for future exer­cis­es.

“All the plan­ning of activ­i­ties are a means to an end,” he said. “That end is the mutu­al under­stand­ing between our coun­tries and our air forces. How we focus on our mis­sions and how we sup­port each oth­er strength­ens our mutu­al bonds.”

Hours before the clos­ing cer­e­mo­ny, RMAF and USAF mem­bers trav­eled back to an orphan­age in Kulim where one week ear­li­er the com­bined team mixed and poured con­crete for a mul­ti-use sports court, which will be used for vol­ley­ball, bad­minton or a tadi­tion­al Malaysian game, sep­ak takraw, and oth­er sports.

The orphan­age, in north­west­ern Malaysia, cur­rent­ly hous­es 50 chil­dren rang­ing in age from 10 to 17 years old. The chil­dren are all orphans of for­mer Malaysian armed forces mem­bers.

U.S. Air Force Air­men rep­re­sent­ing the 67th FS and 67th Air­craft Main­te­nance Unit, who were hon­ored guests at a ded­i­ca­tion cer­e­mo­ny for the new court, also got a chance to give gifts to the chil­dren, includ­ing two water cool­ing sys­tems, var­i­ous sports equip­ment and toys.

“We had such a fun time while you were here,” Nurhafiza Hus­na Bin­ti Hal­im, a res­i­dent of the orphan­age, said dur­ing the cer­e­mo­ny. “All of your kind­ness will be trea­sured close to our hearts.”

U.S. Air Force