Cope North 2018 exercise to use CNMI airports


In this Feb. 15, 2015 file photo, U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 36th Contingency Response Group offload cargo from a Royal Australian Air Force C-130 Hercules during a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief training event at exercise Cope North 15 on Rota.

ASAN, Guam—The United States and its Australian and Japanese allies are scheduled to participate in exercise Cope North 2018 at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, and includes exercise operations at the Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport, Tinian International Airport, and North Field on Tinian and at the Benjamin Taisacan Manglona International Airport on Rota, from Feb. 14 through Mar. 2, 2018.

Cope North 2018, or CN18, is a longstanding exercise designed to enhance multilateral air operations between the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, Japan Air Self-Defense Force, and Royal Australian Air Force.

Rear Adm. Shoshana Chatfield, commander, Joint Region Marianas, said that “Guam and the islands of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands are not only valued areas for realistic training but also Pacific communities where natural disasters such as earthquakes and typhoons are always a threat to community wellbeing. Cope North offers the military an opportunity to remain well-prepared to assist Guam and the CNMI and enhance community resilience.”

The exercise will begin with a weeklong humanitarian assistance and disaster relief training and consist of a number of aerial and force employment events designed to increase readiness among the allied nations.

Military aircraft will operate between the islands with Rota as a “hub” for assistance and relief and in waters around the islands conducting search and rescue training.

More than 2,000 U.S. airmen and sailors will train alongside approximately 850 combined JASDF and RAAF service members.

Additionally, more than 100 aircraft, composed of 21 flying units from the United States, Japan and Australia, will participate in CN18.

Beginning in 1978 as a quarterly bilateral exercise held at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Cope North was moved to the Andersen Air Force Base in 1999. Today, the annual exercise serves as a keystone event to promote stability and security throughout the Indo-Pacific by enabling regional forces to hone vital readiness skills critical to maintaining regional stability. (PR)

Press Release
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