The “Air Commandos of the Pacific” have been dropping in on Thailand during the ongoing exercise Teak Torch.

About 130 airmen with the Okinawa-based 353rd Special Operations Group — the only Air Force special operations force in the Pacific — and their Thai counterparts have teamed up in Udon Thani since April 23, according to a Special Operations Command-Pacific news release Wednesday.

Throughout the exercise, Royal Thai Air Force and 353rd pararescuemen and combat controllers have been participating in personnel air drops from the group’s Combat Shadow MC-130P aircraft.

The daily air drops have included night jumps and water survival air drops, which were a new experience for some of the Thai jumpers, according to the release.

“The first time I left the plane it felt good and then strange to land in the water,” Thai Maj. Surapond Apitachapan, Special Operations Regiment squadron leader, said in the release.

Group security forces, aircrew members and emergency responders also have teamed with their Thai equivalents.

“It’s a unique opportunity for us to demonstrate our specialties and train with Thai forces,” Staff Sgt. Sarah Valdovinos, with the group’s security forces, said in the release.

The airmen are scheduled to return to Kadena Air Base when the exercise wraps up next week, according to Master Sgt. Marilyn C. Holliday, a group spokeswoman.

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive a daily email of today's top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign Up Now