The Royal Australian Air Force will enhance their readiness to operate alongside US and Japanese forces during the upcoming exercise.
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Two hundred fifteen aviators have been deployed to Guam alongside a C-27J Spartan aircraft to hone their combat readiness and interoperability with US and Japanese forces as part of Exercise Cope North 24.
Training will be conducted in Guam – at the Anderson Air Force Base, Won Pat International Airport, and North West Field – as well as the Commonwealth Northern Mariana Islands in Tinian and Saipan.
Canada, France, and the Republic of Korea will also take part in the exercise.
Australian aviators will work on non-traditional airfields and gain hands-on experience in conducting large-scale air force operations, RAAF Task Group Commander Group Captain Kylie Green said.
“The scenarios have been designed to allow our aviators to exercise agile operational concepts that enhance force projection, resilience, and survivability of our allied air combat forces,” GPCAPT Green said.
“We will also have aviators embedded within a multinational task force headquarters to plan and execute an air campaign, with the agile projection of air power from non-traditional airfields across the Mariana Islands.
“This is a key evolution in Cope North activity from previous iterations and reflects operations in our increasingly complex region.
“The Royal Australian Air Force is committed to developing capable and skilled aviators – exercises such as Cope North provides an excellent opportunity to train as a combined force with our allies and partners, improving our ability to deliver air power when and where required.”
The RAAF has supported the quarterly bilateral exercise since 2011.
The announcement comes just weeks after Defence confirmed that two Poseidons deployed to Anderson Air Force Base as part of Exercise Sea Dragon, conducting anti-submarine warfare missions alongside the US, Indian, Korean, and Japanese militaries.
The Australian government confirmed that 51 members of the Royal Australian Air Force participated in Exercise Sea Dragon 2024, which will see partner nations conduct flying missions to track, identify, and target submarines.
Alongside the two RAAF Poseidons are the US Navy P-8A Poseidon, Indian Navy P-8I Neptune, Republic of Korea Navy P-3CK Orion, and Japan Self-Defense Force Kawasaki P-1 aircraft.
Exercise Sea Dragon Detachment Commander, Squadron Leader Jacqueline Killian explained that the exercise will be critical to ensuring that the nations were capable of sharing tactics with one another and deepen their ability to collaborate.
“Exercise Sea Dragon provides a unique opportunity for crews from RAAF No. 11 Squadron to gain tactical experience conducting anti-submarine warfare missions with our Indo-Pacific partners,” SQNLDR Killian said.
“Across the two weeks of the exercise, our aviators will overcome a range of challenges, working to safely and effectively operate together.
“The training accomplished on Exercise Sea Dragon will ensure we are prepared to integrate within a maritime environment and provide effective deterrence for Australia’s maritime security.”