The US Air Force (USAF) is conducting a bilateral tactical airlift exercise with Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) at BAF Base Bangabandhu, Bangladesh.
The Pacific Air Forces-sponsored exercise is code-named Cope South 15. It involves participation from 80 US airmen and three C-130H Hercules aircraft, as well as 200 Bangladesh airmen and one C-130B aircraft.
First day operations of the exercise were built on previous Cope South exercise, and saw the USAF crews safely airdropped Bangladeshi commandos using the host nation’s airdrop procedures.
36th Airlift Squadron commander lieutenant colonel Andrew Campbell said: "Cope South provides valuable training for US and Bangladeshi Airmen in air-land and airdrop delivery.
"Our work here is vital in contingency and disaster-response operations.
"We build the personal relationships that, at a tactical level, enable us to help when disaster strikes and people are in need, not just in Bangladesh, but across the Indo-Asia-Pacific region."
BAF Group captain Awal Hossain said: "Bangladesh is a flood-prone country, and we have been enhancing our capability, so we can drop men and materials in a disaster zone quickly and easily to support locals."
During the exercise, the US and BAF airmen are also scheduled to exchange airlift, air-land, and airdrop delivery tactics, techniques and procedures, as well as develop and expand combined airlift capabilities.
In addition, participants will conduct cooperative flight operations, to include aircraft generation and recovery, day and night low-level navigation, tactical airdrop, and air-land missions, as well as conduct subject-matter expert exchanges in the operations, maintenances, and rigging disciplines.
Cope South 15 mission commander USAF major Adam Staubach said: "Already, it’s clear this year’s exercise is further advancing our mutual understanding of each other’s capabilities, and enhancing our ability to operate together."
Exercise Cope South 15 is scheduled to conclude on 30 January.
Image: Bangladeshi commandos jump from a USAF C-130H aircraft over a drop zone during Exercise Cope South 15 near Sylhet Bangladesh. Photo: courtesy of US Air Force / 1st Lt Jake Bailey.