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US and Bangladesh Air Forces have completed their bilateral tactical airlift exercise, Cope South 15 (CS15) at the Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) Base Bangabandhu, Bangladesh.

The Pacific Air Forces-sponsored exercise involved participation from 80 US airmen and three C-130H Hercules aircraft, as well as 200 Bangladesh airmen and one C-130B aircraft.

During the exercise, US and Bangladesh personnel exchanged airlift, air-land and airdrop delivery techniques, aimed towards advancing their combined ability to respond to regional disasters.

Participants flew 25 sorties and dropped 840 paratroopers, in addition to delivering 20 low-cost, low-altitude and container delivery system airdrop bundles to forward drop-zone locations.

"US and Bangladesh personnel exchanged airlift, air-land and airdrop delivery techniques, aimed towards advancing their combined ability to respond to regional disasters."

USAF 36th Airlift Squadron mission commander major Adam Staubach said: "Cope South is a prime example of how combined forces can rapidly respond and integrate with each other to execute airlift operations across the Pacific (area of responsibility) during contingencies and crises.

"Like us, our Bangladesh Air Force counterparts value the peace and stability that airpower through partnership can deliver to this region.

"We appreciate the close relationship we share and their willingness to host major events, exercises and operations that are critical to advancing our mutual understanding of each other’s capabilities and enhancing our ability to operate together."

BAF Base Bangabandhu commanding air officer air commodore Mohammad Obaidur Rahman said the tactics, techniques and procedures shared during the exercise are beneficial for ensuring interoperability between BAF and the US during future operations.

Specifically, CS15 participants focused on developing USAF-BAF relationships, continuing to seek additional engagement opportunities, especially in areas of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, aviation safety, airlift and aviation maintenance and logistics.

This six-day drill featured the first-time participation of a F-7BG fighter aircraft, which provided intercept and escort duties for C-130 fight operations.


Image: US and Bangladesh Air Force personnel gather following completion of the Cope South 15 exercise. Photo: courtesy of US Air Force, photo by 1st Lt. Jake Bailey.