The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has deployed aircraft and personnel to Guam and other islands in Micronesia to conduct Exercise Cope North 22 with the United States Air Force and the Koku-Jieitai (Japan Air Self-Defense Force).
Exercise Cope North is a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief training exercise held from February 2 to 18 2022, involving both air and ground forces.
Keeping in tradition with previous exercises and as a visual representation of this large-scale exercise, the trilateral forces gathered for a group photo of participating personnel and air platforms at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam.
RAAF Task Group Commander Group Captain Andrew McHugh said trilateral engagement and strengthening regional partnerships would be a significant focus throughout the exercise.
“Exercise Cope North is focused on interoperability with our partner nations through combined tactics, techniques and procedures for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations and the mass combat and air mobility missions,” Group Captain McHugh said.
“Working alongside the United States Air Force and the Koku-Jieitai in a realistic training scenario across complex island terrain will further enhance our capabilities to ensure we are able to provide timely and effective responses when called upon in real-time situations.
“By bringing together the trilateral forces, we are able to strengthen our capabilities as a larger combined force, which is essential for an open, prosperous, inclusive and secure Indo-Pacific.”
Exercises such as Cope North remain critical to preparedness of the Australian Defence Force and reinforce interoperability within the region.
All personnel deployed for Exercise Cope North 22 have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 before departure, undertaken controlled testing and are complying with strict health guidelines for the entire duration of the exercise.
picture Exercise Cope North 22 personnel and aircraft from the Royal Australian Air Force, the United States Air Force and the Japan Air Self-Defense Force at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. Photo: United States Air Force