KORAT ROYAL THAI AIR BASE, THAILAND - U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Michael Loh, director, Air National Guard, and Chief Master Sgt. Maurice Williams, command chief master sergeant, ANG, visited Korat Air Base for Enduring Partners 2023.
The general and his staff visited Sept. 20 to see the State Partnership Program engagement between the Kingdom of Thailand and the Washington and Oregon National Guard.
The Washington National Guard and Thailand have been partners since 2002 under the Department of Defense National Guard Bureau program.
Loh started his day by riding on a U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker with Airmen from the Washington and Oregon National Guard and Royal Thai Air Force. Participants viewed the refueling of the U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagles and Royal Thai Air Force F-16 Vipers from the boom pod.
“It’s unbelievable when you think about how we deliver air power on jets that were in before I became a cadet at the Air Force Academy. They are still out there flying and they are still at the leading edge of air power. So it is pretty amazing,” Loh said. “It is a testament to our maintainers, a testament to our folks that are engineers.”
Proceeding the KC-135 Stratotanker flight, Loh coined numerous service members from the Washington and Oregon National Guard for their hard work and dedication to the mission.
Williams provided insight into the importance of the Guard, the ANG’s presence in Thailand, and the strength that each member brings to the table.
“What you are doing here is part of that action. It shows how you exercise and you can defend, how we exercise and we can deter, and by doing that we put that together and that makes us dominate,” said Williams. “You are securing the nation by the things that you are doing with our allies and partners. Together, we become one. We integrate; that’s the main focus.”