US-Japan Training Exercise Begins

Cope North 09-01, the new iteration of the annual US-Japan air training exercise began yesterday in the skies around Andersen AFB, Guam. The event is meant to strengthen US-Japan military ties and enhance joint air activities in the defense of Japan. Participants in the two-week exercise include six B-52s from Minot AFB, N.D., currently stationed at Andersen, Navy EA-6B electronic attack aircraft, and Japan Air Self Defense Force F-2 fighters and E-2C early warning aircraft. And, for the first time, 10 F-16s from the 18th Aggressor Squadron at Eielson AFB, Alaska, are also participating, playing the role of mock adversaries. The JASDF F-2s arrived at Andersen Jan. 30. (Andersen report by SrA. Ryan Whitney)