The RAAF has joined air forces from the United States and Japan in Guam for Exercise COPE NORTH, a joint training exercise to enhance tactical skills and joint operational capability.
Source: Australian Department of Defence
This is the first time the RAAF has participated in Exercise COPE NORTH, a bi‑annual exercise historically for the United States Air Force and the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force that started in 1978.
RAAF Super Hornets and Airborne Early Warning and Control Wedgetail aircraft, along with 300 Air Force personnel are participating in the air defence exercise.
Commander of the Australian contingent for the exercise, Group Captain Geoffrey Harland, said the exercise will provide excellent opportunities for RAAF personnel to integrate with a joint task force to learn how other countries operate.
“Exercise COPE NORTH will allow the aircrew to develop an appreciation of the capabilities and strengths of the different aircraft types which is valuable training for air combat and Surveillance and Response Group personnel who may be required to operate in a coalition environment in the future.”
The international aircraft comprises the USAF’s F‑16s, B‑52s, F‑15Cs, F‑16CJs and KC-135, and JASDF’s F‑15Js, F2s and E2Cs. More than 1,000 military personnel from around the world are expected to participate.
During Exercise COPE NORTH, Number 37 Squadron’s C‑130 will also participate in a separate exercise on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
The exercise will run from the 13 to 24 February.
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