The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has deployed a C-27J Spartan aircraft and personnel to participate in Exercise Cope North in Guam, from 8 to 24 February 2023. The long standing joint military exercise focuses on increased combat readiness and humanitarian assistance training with the United States and Japan.

The RAAF will train alongside the United States Air Force and the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) at Andersen Air Force Base, Won Pat International Airport, and North West Field (Guam); Commonwealth Northern Mariana Islands including Rota, Tinian, and Saipan; Yap in the Federated States of Micronesia; Iwo To, Japan; and the Republic of Palau.

RAAF Task Group Commander, Group Captain Robert Graham said Cope North 23 will be an excellent opportunity to consolidate and further enhance interoperability with the United States and Japan. “Exercise Cope North 23 will provide training opportunities and invaluable experience for our people in a challenging scenario, and we are looking forward to working with our friends from the United States and Japan again,” Group Captain Graham said. “We are focused on deepening relationships and strengthening engagement with the United States Pacific Air Forces and the Japan Air Self-Defense Force.”

Exercise Cope North 23 will enhance the trilateral forces’ capability for agile combat employment by operating from multiple locations on Guam and surrounding islands.

“A testing scenario involving humanitarian assistance and disaster relief will drive a range of planning and logistics challenges which will need our combined capability with the United States and Japan to deliver credible responses,” Group Captain Graham said. “The RAAF is committed to developing capable and skilled aviators – exercises such as Cope North provide an excellent opportunity to train as a combined force with our allies and partners, improving our ability to deliver air power when and where required.”

Established in 1978 as a quarterly bilateral exercise held at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Cope North moved to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam in 1999. It is the United States Pacific Air Forces’ largest multilateral exercise. The year 2023 marks the 13th year the RAAF will travel to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam to participate in Exercise Cope North.

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