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  Live Firing Exercise at Chaibadan
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Text:

Chakrit Samithinan

Pictures:

Chakrit Samithinan

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The annual live firing exercise by the Royal Thai Air Force called Air Tactical Operations Competition  was held on 20th December 2016 in Chaibadan (Lopburi Province) near the location of the RTAF Helicopter Wing 2 in Khok Ka Thiem. Initially, this exercise was supposed to be held near Nam Phong in the Northeast of Thailand, an inactive air base enlarged and used by the United States Marine Corps’ F-4 Phantoms and A-6 Intruders during the Vietnam War. However, the location for the exercise was changed at very short notice to the Chandy Firing Range in Chaibadan, the location already used in 2015.

Only the Thai press, some government officials of Lopburi Province and a few school classes of the Chaibadan area were invited to witness this year’s  firing demonstration which came at the conclusion of the 2016 Air Tactical Operations Competition of the Royal Thai Air Force.

Das jährliche Fliegerschiessen  der Royal Thai Air Force,  auch “Air Tactical Operations Competition” genannt, wurde dieses Jahr am 20. Dezember 2016 in Chaibadan (Lopburi Provinz) in der Nähe der Helikopter Wing 2 in Khok Ka Thiem abgehalten. Eigentlich sollte diese Demonstration beim ehemaligen US Marine Stützpunktes Nam Phong abgehalten werden. Dieser jetzt stillgelegte Fluplatz im Nordosten des Landes wurde während dem Vietnam Konflikt ab 1972 vom US Marine Corps ausgebaut und als Basis ihrer F-4 Phantom und A-6 Intruder benützt. Unerwarteterweise wurde der Standort für das Fliegerschiessen aber kurzfristig auf die Chandy Range in Chaibadan verlegt, welche schon im letzten Jahr Schauplatz des Fliegerschiessens war.
Nur die thailändische Fachpresse, lokale Regierungsvertreter sowie einige Schuklassen aus der Gegend waren für diese Demonstration eingeladen, die auch den Abschluss der Air Tactical Operations Wettkämpfe bedeutete.

 
Chandy Range (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan)  Chandy Range Observation Area (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan)  Chandy Range Observation Area (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan) 
 
Special Exercise Badge (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan)  Chandy Range (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan)  Chandy Range (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan)  Chandy Range Poster (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan) 
 
Wing Commander Fountain (CO 103 Sqn)Author (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan)  Air Chief Marshal Johm Rungswang (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan)  RTAF Wing Commanders (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan)  RTAF Lockheed C-130H Hercules 601 Sqn. (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan) 

Participants in the 45-minutes demonstration were pilots and aircrafts of Wing 1, Wing 2, Wing 4, Wing 5, Wing 6, Wing 21, Wing 23, Wing 41 and Wing 46. This year, the following aircrafts were taking part in the demonstration: F-16A, F-5E, L-39, Alpha Jet, C-130, UH-1H and EC-725. The JAS-39 Gripen was conspicuously absent from this exercise as their primary role is not air-to ground operation.

Unlike the previous year, the demonstration took place in in excellent weather but this unfortunately meant that photographers had to shoot their pictures against the sun. This is reflected in the photos.

Teilnehmer an dieser Übung, die nur 45 Minuten dauerte, waren Piloten und Flugzeuge deR Wing 1, Wing 2, Wing 4, Wing 5, Wing 6, Wing 21, Wing 23, Wing 41 und Wing 46. Die folgenden Flugzeugtypen nahmen an dieser Demonstration teil: F-16A, F-5, L-39, Alpha Jet, C-130, UH-1H und EC-725. Die JAS-39 Gripen war der grosse abwesende Flugzeugtyp aber scheinbar ist die Gripen nicht für den Erdkampf vorgesehen.
Im Gegensatz zum letzten Jahr fand die Demonstration bei  bestem Wetter statt. Leider bedeutete das, dass sich die Flugzeuge beim Bombenabwurf fast direkt im Gegenlicht befanden. Dies machte sich in den Fotos bemerkbar.

 
Para Drop(Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan)  Eurocopter EC-725 and a Bell 412 (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan)  Eurocopter EC-725 of the 202 Sqn. Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan)  General Dynamics F-16A Falcon of the 102 Sqn. (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan) 
   
  The first bomb drop (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan)  Result of bomb drop (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan)  Result of bomb drop (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan)  F-16A bomb drop (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan)   
   
  F-16A bomb drop (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan)  F-5E bomb drop (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan)  F-5E bomb drop (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan)  Result of bomb drop by F-5E's (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan)   
 
Result of bomb drop by F-5E's (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan) 

Aero L-39ZA Albatross of the 401 Sqn. (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan) 

Aero L-39ZA Albatross of the 401 Sqn. (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan) 

Result of the Roclets by L-39's (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan) 

The demonstration was opened and attended by the new RTAF Chief, Air Chief Marshal Johm Rungswang who moved into this position only a few months ago. All top commanders of the Royal Thai Air Force were present and witnessed ground attacks by bombs, rockets and machine guns. The accuracy displayed by the F-16 pilots in bombing the designated target deserves special mention as their bombs were hitting the targets with an astonishing precision. In addition, paratroopers showed their skills and a C-130 Hercules made a precision air-drop.  Also displaying their abilities was a battery of the Thai military’s anti-aircraft units who were shooting blanks at passing L-39 aircrafts.

Der diesjährige Anlass wurde vom neuen Chef der Royal Thai Air Force, Air Chief Marshal Johm  Rungswang, der erst einige Monate in Amt ist, eröffnet und auch verfolgt.  Alle Wing Commanders waren ebenfalls anwesend und beobachteten mit grossem Interesse ihre Piloten, welche die vorgesehenen Ziele mit Bomben, Raketen und Maschinengewehr-Salven trafen. Speziell zu erwähnen sind die F-16 Piloten, die ihre Bomben mit einer unwahrscheinlichen Genauigkeit auf die Ziele warfen.  Ausserdem zeigten Fallschirmspringer ihre Zielsicherheit, eine C-130 Hercules machte einen Zielabwurf  und eine Fliegerabwehr Truppe feuerte ihre Übungs-Geschosse auf vorbeifliegende L-39  Flugzeuge.

 
Anti-Aircraft Firing (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan) 

Dassault Alpha Jet of the 231 Sqn. (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan) 

General Dynamics F-16B Falcon of the 403 Sqn. (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan) 

General Dynamics F-16B Falcon of the 403 Sqn. (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan)
 
General Dynamics F-16B Falcon of the 403 Sqn. (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan)

General Dynamics F-16A Falcon. (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan)

Aero L-39ZA Albatross of the 401 Sqn. (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan) 

Northrop F-5E Tiger of 211 Sqn. (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan) 

 
General Dynamics F-16A's Falcon of the 1. Wing. (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan) General Dynamics F-16A's Falcon of the 1. Wing. (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan) General Dynamics F-16A's Falcon of the 1. Wing. (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan) General Dynamics F-16B Falcon Closing Pass. (Picture courtesy Chakrit Samithinan)
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last update 8. January 2017

Written 8. January 2017

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