Cope North Concludes

Exercise Cope North 15 concluded at Andersen AFB, Guam, after two weeks of joint and multilateral training events, according to a Pacific Air Forces release. The 86th iteration of the exercise involved some 2,340 participants, making it the largest-ever Cope North exercise, said PACAF officials. In addition to US airmen, military personnel from Australia, Japan, New Zealand, the Philippines, and South Korea took part, with Singapore and Vietnam sending observers from their air forces. The combat and large-force engagement portion ran Feb. 19 to Feb. 27, the last day of the exercise, with pilots flying more than 1,450 missions and delivering nearly 100 weapons, states the release. Cope North also featured humanitarian-assistance and disaster-relief training from Feb. 15 to Feb. 19 on the nearby islands of Rota and Tinian, involving the opening of an air base and simulating aeromedical evacuations. Participants treated 70 patients, moved more than 216 passengers and 700,000 pounds of cargo, and conducted 25 airdrops. “It’s very unlikely in the future that we would deploy to any crisis or contingency by ourselves,” said Australian air force exercise director Group Capt. Phil Gordon. Close operating relationships with the United States and Japan would be important in the event of “any security crisis in our region,” he added.