More than 100 aviators and a C-27J Spartan military transport from the Royal Australian Air Force have completed exercises with the United States and Japanese personnel at Exercise Cope North 2023.
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The joint military exercises operated out of west Pacific air bases, airports, and airfields in Guam, Micronesia, Northern Mariana Islands, Japan, and Palau from 8 to 24 February.
The training focused on developing agile combat employment tactics and procedures to ensure air power can be deployed as an interoperable trilateral force across the Pacific.
All three countries practiced interoperability and the ability to rapidly deploy or establish airbase operations at multiple locations at the same time.
RAAF were deployed in support operations on Rota island airfield as well as roles in contingency response, health, and security forces.
RAAF Task Unit Commander Group Captain Robert Graham said Exercise Cope North supported Australia’s capacity to work with partners and contribute to an Indo-Pacific region that is open, resilient, prosperous, and respectful of sovereignty.
“While Australia conducts similar training activities domestically, the challenges of Cope North cannot be replicated within Australia,” GPCAPT Graham said.
“The dynamic and dispersed nature of this exercise across multiple islands allows us to rehearse and refine a range of missions we may face in the real world, including humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and agile combat employment operations.
“Training alongside partner nations is critical to our success on real-world operations, with Exercise Cope North also allowing us to work closely with communities in the Pacific.
“Understanding the concerns, desires, and culture of this community was key to us working with them and more effectively delivering support on Exercise Cope North.”
This is the 13th time Australia has taken part in Exercise Cope North.