Annual multilateral military exercise COPE North 2019 (CN19) has commenced at Andersen Air Force Base in the US territory Guam.
Participants in CN19 include the US, Japan and Australia. Set to run until 8 March, the exercise focuses on enhancing multilateral air operations among the US Air Force (USAF), US Navy, US Marine Corps, Japan Air Self-Defense Force (Koku Jieitai) and Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).
This year’s exercise will involve more than 2,000 US troops, as well as approximately 850 combined Koku Jieitai and RAAF service members.
In addition, more than 100 US, Japanese and Australian aircraft from 21 flying units will take part in the US Pacific Air Forces-sponsored exercise.
During CN19, personnel will participate in a week-long humanitarian assistance and disaster relief training event to strengthen the militaries’ ability to support the region, including Palau and the Federated States of Micronesia.
Following the event, they will proceed to large-force employment to increase readiness among the allied nations.
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COPE North started in 1978 as a quarterly bilateral exercise held at Misawa Air Base, Japan.
The exercise was later shifted to Andersen AFB in 1999. The USAF sees the annual event as an important part of maintaining peace and security throughout the Indo-Pacific region by increasing the readiness of regional forces.
COPE North involves a scenario to develop multilateral interoperability in air power missions, such as air superiority, close air support, interdiction, electronic warfare, tactical airlift, and airborne command and control.