An E-3 AWACS command and control aircraft participating in Cope Tiger in the Pacific couldn’t complete an aerial refueling with a KC-135 because of bad weather, but instead of canceling its mission, the E-3 crew flew back to Korat RTAB, Thailand, to ground refuel some 65,000 pounds and then rejoined the exercise. “I’ve seen such a quick turn only once in my 20 years of flying AWACS missions,” said Maj. David Alexander, a 961st Airborne Air Control Squadron mission crew commander. The E-3 belongs to the 962nd AACS at Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, but was flying with a mixed crew including airmen from the 961st at Kadena AB, Japan. The 961st AACS E-3 is down for maintenance, so Elmendorf provided the aircraft for this rendition of Cope Tiger. (Cope Tiger report by Capt. Renee Lee)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.