Royal Australian Air Force arrives in Guam for Exercise Cope North
17 February 2015
Over 200 Royal Australian Air Force personnel, eight F/A-18A/B Hornets, a KC-30A Multi Role Tanker Transport, and C-130J Hercules have arrived at Andersen Air Force Base on the tiny western Pacific island of Guam for Exercise Cope North Guam 2015.
This is the fourth time the RAAF has participated in Cope North Guam.
This year participating forces from United States, Japan and Australia will focus on air combat training and undertake a multi-lateral humanitarian assistance and disaster relief exercise.
Commander of the Australian Contingent, Group Captain Phil Gordon, said Exercise Cope North will provide excellent opportunities for RAAF personnel to work closely with key allies to improve interoperability and effectiveness in a multilateral environment.
“The air combat training will give us a greater understanding of each others capabilities and the ways in which we can work together as part of a coalition.” GPCAPT Gordon said.
“Australia has for a long time worked very closely with the US to develop our tactics, techniques and procedures. An exercise such as Cope North gives us the opportunity to validate the effectiveness of our training in a complex and demanding air combat scenario.”
“I am particularly excited to be working with elements of the Japan Air Self Defence Force. I think there is a lot we can learn from each other.”
The humanitarian assistance and disaster relief component will focus on providing support in the aftermath of a simulated earthquake and subsequent tsunami.
It will include the establishment of a headquarters from which medical support can be established and humanitarian aid can be distributed, as well as be the coordination point for aero medical evacuations and day and night time air drops.
“Due to the continual demand for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, exercises like this are an invaluable opportunity to learn and improve our procedures before we are called on to do it for real,” GPCAPT Gordon said.
The humanitarian assistance contingent comprises approximately 70 personnel, who bring with them specialisations including: Air Load Teams, Communications, Security Forces, Airfield Response Fire Fighting, Logistics and Administration, as well as a number of multi-disciplined staff planners.
The activity will be based at Anderson Air Force Base with expeditionary elements operating from the Commonwealth of Northern Marianas Islands of Rota and Tinian.
The exercise will run from the 15-27 February 2015.
Media Note: Andersen Air Force Base was constructed in 1944-45 as a base for the US 20th Air Force B-29 Super fortresses during the Pacific Campaign of World War Two.
Imagery is available at: http://images.defence.gov.au/S20150307
Further imagery will be added to the gallery as it becomes available.
Flying Officer Natalie Giles – 0438 462 944