Airforces from the US, Japan and Australian are taking part in the annual trilateral field training exercise Cope North 21.

The exercise is being held at Andersen Air Force Base (AFB). It started on 3 February and will continue until 19 February.

Exercise Cope North 21 aims to provide an opportunity for the forces to hone their combined air tactics while enhancing support to the Indo-Pacific region.

Australia is participating for the 11th time in the US Pacific Air Forces’ largest multilateral exercise.

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has deployed two jets and approximately 170 personnel to Guam to take part in the drills.

Exercise Cope North 21 Australian commander Nathan Christie said: “More than 2,000 military personnel and approximately 95 aircraft from the Royal Australian Air Force, United States Air Force, United States Navy, United States Marine Corps and the Japan Air Self-Defense Force are scheduled to participate in this exercise.

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“Australian personnel are drawn from across airforce with elements of Surveillance and Response Group, Air Mobility Group, and Combat Support Group participating.

“An E-7A Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft, KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport, and a Contingency Response Squadron have also deployed to the exercise.”

The exercise will include humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HA/DR) operations, large force employment and combat air forces training.

The fighter jets will conduct close air support, offensive and defensive counter-air, and aerial refuelling missions.

COPE North started in 1978 as a quarterly bilateral exercise. It was held at Misawa Air Base in Japan and was moved to Andersen AFB in 1999.