Exercise Cope North 2023 under way with reduced Australian presence
The USAF, the Japan Air Self-Defence Force (JASDF), the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and the French Air and Space Force began exercise Cope North in Guam on 8 February.
The US Pacific Air Forces’ largest multilateral exercise is taking place between 8 and 24 February and features about 1,000 US personnel and another 1,000 from the other three participating nations.
Approximately 100 aircraft from the participating nations will fly 1,200 sorties across seven islands and ten airfields in a field training exercise focused on trilateral airborne integration for large-force combat deployment, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
USAF Col Jared Pasley said during a public briefing: ‘Logistics in a crisis field exercise is… important. Fuel, infrastructure, runways, landings, consumables are also a key focus of this exercise.’
‘If you look at how difficult it will be to operate at ten different locations in the Mariana Islands chain — that is a logistics challenge.’
Cope North 23 will provide an opportunity to consolidate and further enhance interoperability with the US and Japan, said RAAF task group commander, Grp Capt Robert Graham.
He added that the RAAF participation this year was significantly reduced ‘because we have other commitments elsewhere in the world and at home'.
The multilateral exercise series is focused on trilateral airborne integration for large-force employment, agile combat employment, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief training.
Cope North was established in 1978 as a quarterly bilateral exercise held at Misawa Air Base, Japan and moved to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam in 1999.
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