US, PH air force drills are preparations for 'future threats' - US pilot

US, PH air force drills are preparations for ‘future threats’ – US pilot

By: - Reporter / @FArgosinoINQ
/ 02:34 PM April 11, 2024

PAMPANGA, Philippines — Besides boosting the capabilities of both nations, the war games between the air forces of the Philippines and the United States are in preparation for potential “future threats,” according to a member of the United States Air Force (USAF).

USAF fighter pilot Captain Jonathan Phase Marshall said this on Thursday when asked about the importance of the joint drills amid China’s aggression in the West Philippine Sea.


“We have been doing exercises like this for many years now, and we will continue to do so, not because of any current things going on in the world right now, but because both the US and the Philippine Air Force (PAF) believe that as we work together to make a free and open Indo-Pacific, we prepare ourselves to operate in a joint environment one day for not any current, present threat, but potentially future threats that we might not even know about yet,” Marshall explained during this year’s military exercise dubbed as “Cope Thunder.”


Although he did not elaborate on these threats, Marshall said the bilateral exercises will equip them to face threats, whether from “hostile forces” or “forces of nature such as hurricanes.”

Marshall made the statements in an ambush interview during the holding of the drills at Basa Air Base in Floridablanca, Pampanga.

Cope Thunder features joint and combined sea, air, and ground exercises involving the PAF and the US Pacific Air Forces (PACAF).

Based on PAF’s description, the bilateral exercise is covered by the Mutual Defense Board – Security Engagement Board Activities for calendar year 2024, which started on April 8 and will run until April 19.

PAF said 478 of its personnel and 170 USAF personnel, along with FA-50PH fighter jets and F-16 aircraft, are included in the series of exercises.

The actions are focused on “air and ground operations, as well as logistics and other mission support planning and execution.”

This year’s Cope Thunder is set to have a second round in June.

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TAGS: Military exercises, Philippines, US

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