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NEWS | Oct. 17, 2023

36th FS participates in CTFN23

By Airman 1st Class Chase Verzaal, 51st Fighter Wing

Cope Taufan, a bilateral training event between the United States Air Force and the Royal Malaysian Air Force, has recently concluded on Sept. 29th, 2023. This regularly scheduled training event continues to grow partnerships by enhancing shared interests of security, stability and free access to the Indo-Pacific.

CTFN23 occurred from Sept. 18th through the 29th, and included participation from members of the 36th Fighter Squadron. This training event aimed to demonstrate the ability of the U.S. and Malaysia to strategically employ allied forces in Indo-Pacific airspace. The event emphasized the cooperation between the nations who participated while enhancing overall interoperability.

“This training event was our first integration with the Malaysian Air Force since 2019 and was significant in the groundwork for future cooperation with Malaysian forces," said U.S. Air Force Capt. Lawrence Dagostino, 36th FS operations supervisor. "It demonstrated our willingness and desire to continue”.

CTFN23 was Pacific Air Forces-sponsored and took place at Malaysian Air Force bases TUDM Butterworth and TUDM Subang, according to a press release from 7th Air Force. The training that took place practiced air-to-air capabilities of both nations, in addition to overall flight support. The opportunity to train bilaterally allowed both nations the opportunity to gain unique training experiences.

“This was the first time that many of our pilots had to witness unfamiliar basic flight maneuvers and train with non-American fighter platforms," said Dagostino.

The training involved approximately 220 U.S. personnel, where they dedicated six consecutive days of flying and practicing maneuvering missions, followed by four days of planning and executing large force training operations with Malaysian forces.

“I think any of us pilots who went would be comfortable flying with them again because of the time in Malaysia," said U.S. Air Force Capt. Christopher Brown, 36th FS pilot. "We understand what each country finds important in regard to flying and that will make future interoperability much smoother”.

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