Australia, US, Japan Team Up for Cope North 24 Military Drills

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has deployed one C-27J Spartan aircraft and 215 airmen to participate in Exercise Cope North 24 in Guam from February 5 to 23, 2024. This long-running military exercise focuses on integration through combat readiness and agile operations with the United States and Japan.

The RAAF will train alongside the United States Air Force (USAF) and the Koku-Jieitai (Japan Air Self-Defense Force, or JASDF) at Andersen Air Force Base; Won Pat International Airport; and the North West Field on Guam, as well as the Commonwealth Northern Mariana Islands, including Tinian and Saipan.

RAAF Task Group Commander Group Captain Kylie Green stated that Exercise Cope North 24 was an excellent opportunity to consolidate and improve integration with the United States and Japan. “Exercise Cope North will provide invaluable training opportunities and experience for our people in a challenging scenario, and we look forward to working again with our friends in the United States and Japan,” said Group Captain Green. “We are focused on deepening relationships with the United Pacific Air Forces and Koku-Jieitai and on the participation of Canada, France and the Republic of Korea.”

Many of the Airmen participating in the exercise will support agile operations from remote airfields. “The scenarios have been designed to allow our Airmen to exercise agile operational concepts that improve the force projection, resiliency and survivability of our allied air combat forces,” stated Group Captain Green. “We will also have aviators integrated into a Multinational Forces Headquarters to plan and execute an air campaign, with the agile air power projection from non-traditional airfields throughout the Mariana Islands.

This is a key evolution in Cope North’s business from previous iterations and reflects operations in our increasingly complex region. The Royal Australian Air Force is committed to developing capable and qualified airmen; “Exercises like Cope North offer an excellent opportunity to train as a combined force with our allies and partners, enhancing our ability to provide airpower when and where needed.”

Established in 1978 as a quarterly bilateral exercise conducted at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Cope North moved to Andersen Air Base in 1999. It is the largest multilateral exercise of the US Pacific Air Forces.  The RAAF has participated in this exercise annually since 2011.