Royal Australian Air Force personnel have deployed to Guam to participate in Exercise Cope North 18, an annual high-end air combat and humanitarian assistance exercise.
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Up to 12 F/A-18A Hornets from RAAF Base Williamtown No. 77 Squadron will participate in Exercise Cope North, operating alongside aircraft from the US and Japan.
The exercise aims to develop and improve combat readiness, humanitarian assistance procedures and increase the interoperability between the US, Australia and Japan. The focus of the exercise will be the deployment and redeployment of combat support capabilities and the conduct of aeromedical evacuation, security forces and airfield operations.
Australian Commander for the Exercise, Group Captain Ben Sleeman, said there are great opportunities to gain from Cope North.
"This is the seventh year Australia has participated in the exercise and every year we gain a further appreciation of how our equipment, aircraft and personnel operate together in this environment," GPCAPT Sleeman said.
"A C-27J Spartan aircraft from RAAF Base Richmond will also deploy for the first time on Exercise Cope North as part of the humanitarian assistance scenario, and will provide aeromedical evacuation and air logistics support from Guam.
"Cope North gives us the opportunity to validate the effectiveness of our new platforms such as the C-27J Spartan in complex scenarios, as well as the training of its crew."
In addition, a combat support element and aeromedical evacuation team will deploy to enhance interoperability.
Exercise Cope North is held at Andersen Air Force Base in Guam and hosted by the US Pacific Air Forces. The exercise wraps up on 2 March.