Royal Australian Air Force Joins United States and Japan for Exercise Cope North 2024

29 January 2024

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has deployed a C-27J Spartan aircraft and 215 aviators to participate in Exercise Cope North 24 in Guam, from 5-23 February 2024.

The long-standing military exercise focuses on integration through combat readiness and agile operations with the United States and Japan.

RAAF will train alongside the United States Air Force (USAF) and Koku-Jieitai (Japan Air Self-Defense Force, or JASDF) at Andersen Air Force Base; Won Pat International Airport; and North West Field in Guam, as well as the Commonwealth Northern Mariana Islands including Tinian and Saipan.

RAAF Task Group Commander, Group Captain Kylie Green, said Exercise Cope North 24 was an excellent opportunity to consolidate and further enhance integration with the United States and Japan.

“Exercise Cope North will provide training opportunities and invaluable experience for our people in a challenging scenario, and we are looking forward to working with our friends from the United States and Japan again,” Group Captain Green said.

“We are focused on deepening relationships with the United Pacific Air Forces and the Koku-Jieitai, and the participation of Canada, France and the Republic of Korea.”

Many of the aviators participating in the exercise will support agile operations from remote airfields.

“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,” Group Captain 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.”

Established in 1978 as a quarterly bilateral exercise in Japan, Exercise Cope North moved to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam in 1999. It is the United States Pacific Air Force’s largest multilateral exercise.

RAAF has participated in this exercise annually since 2011.

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