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January 27, 2022

Australia, US and Japan forces join Exercise Cope North 2022

Cope North 2022 is intended to improve participating forces’ HADR capabilities in the Indo-Pacific.

Air Forces from Australia, Japan and the US are set to take part in the annual tri-lateral field training exercise, Cope North 2022.

The joint exercise will be conducted from 2 to 18 February at Guam and the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands.

Cope North 2022 aims to increase the interoperability of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), US Air Force (USAF) and the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (Koku-Jieitai) by sharing tactics, techniques and procedures for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) missions.

During the exercise, the RAAF will deploy its E-7A Wedgetail, C-27J Spartan, KC-30A multi-role tanker transport and F-35A Lightning II fighters.

In addition, it will send a HADR training-focused contingency response squadron.

RAAF Task Unit commander group captain Andrew McHugh expects Cope North 2022 will improve the tri-lateral forces’ capability to perform HADR missions in the Indo-Pacific.

McHugh said: “We are very pleased to be heading back to Guam for Cope North 2022, which will provide invaluable experience for our personnel and enhance the effectiveness of the RAAF.

“Through Cope North 2022, we are focused on deepening relationships and strengthening engagement with the USAF’s Pacific Air Force and the Koku-Jieitai to contribute to our shared vision of an open, inclusive and resilient Indo-Pacific.

“We are committed to developing an intelligent and skilled workforce with exercises such as Cope North providing the opportunity to operate as a combined force with the US and the Japan, and ensure our people can deliver air power when required.”

RAAF personnel being deployed for Exercise Cope North 2022 have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and will comply with all directions as required.

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