The Indian Air Force (IAF) and the US Air Force (USAF) have begun a five-day joint air exercise at an air force station in Agra, a major IAF transport air base.

‘Cope India-09’, an annual exercise that took place for the first time in 2003, will provide further impetus to the existing Indo-US defence cooperation.

During the session, the IAF air crew will train in a range of missions in a simulated hostile scenario in joint operations.

The countries will be to assess each other’s operational aspects, validate operational procedures for internal security, undertake airborne assault operations and night vision goggles aided tactical operations.

The USAF has deployed three C-130H Hercules, one C-17 Globemaster and one C-130J Super Hercules and 180 personnel for the exercise.

The IAF is deploying three AN-32, one AN-32, two Mi-17 1V and a Chetak helicopter from Search and Rescue along with 270 personnel.