An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | Feb. 26, 2020

Australians Lead Multinational Humanitarian and Disaster Relief Exercise for First Time during Cope North

By Staff Sgt. Curt Beach Cope North Combined Joint Information Bureau / Published

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- A peaceful white-sand paradise is flipped upside down when a magnitude 7.3 earthquake ravages the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), causing devastating tsunamis in a Cope North 20 (CN20) exercise scenario.

For the first time in Cope North history, Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) invited the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) to lead the Humanitarian and Disaster Relief (HADR) mission of CN20, with an integrated tri-nation team from the U.S., RAAF and Koku Jieitai (Japan Air Self-Defense Force).

The magnitude of the simulated emergency led to the establishment of a Multinational Task Force (MNTF) HQ at Andersen.

The MNTF brought together all three nations to monitor ongoing threats, assess damage and develop a plan to insert personnel and supplies to support the affected islands north of Guam, with RAAF Group Captain (GPCAPT) Mark Larter (95 Wing commanding officer), CN20 MNTF commander, taking the helm.

“The [U.S. Air Force’s] decision to invite Australia to lead the HADR component of Cope North 20 for the first time is a reflection of their deep respect and confidence in the Royal Australian Air Force's ability to lead and plan a major tri-nation exercise in a professional, credible and safe manner,” Larter said.

Cope North’s focus on HADR provides critical training to U.S. and allied militaries and has a direct impact on the militaries’ ability to support the region, to include the CNMI, Palau, and Yap in the Federated States of Micronesia.

The focus of the HADR exercise was the deployment and redeployment of combat support capabilities, conducting security forces and airfield operations in a friendly nation with elements of social unrest.

Expeditionary forces deployed to Tinian and Rota to provide airlift and medical support. They were also tasked with establishing the security and command and control (C2) necessary for any disaster relief operation. One of their goals was to establish and operate an airfield in an austere environment to ensure air operations could occur safely and effectively.

Throughout the deployment to Tinian and Rota, U.S., Koku Jieitai and RAAF personnel combined efforts to perform medical evacuations, airfield security, C2, search and rescue, and cargo and personnel airlifts to react to the earthquake disaster scenario. They constructed deployable tents for shelter and food and water storage, and responded to real-time role playing scenarios to test readiness.

In the natural disaster scenario, infrastructure on Tinian was severely damaged, and water contamination caused several dozen cases of mild to intense poisoning, including deaths, bringing the local health care facility under strain.

With local CNMI government having limited capability to restock life-saving medical supplies, the trilateral medical team was employed to mitigate further deaths and quell public unrest.

“Operating cohesively alongside our Australian and Japanese allies allows us to understand one another’s capabilities and strengths,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Shaquielle Sheppard, En Route Patient Staging (ERPS) healthcare administrator deployed to Rota. “This training has solidified what we can accomplish together and what we can bring to the fight.”

Personnel operating in the ERPS facility worked to ensure safe transport and care was provided to in-transit patients during their stay at Rota before being moved to locations supporting higher levels of medical treatment.

“Open communication is vital as well as patient and personnel safety,” Sheppard said. “When we successfully complete a mission like this, it’s the most fulfilling feeling and the whole point of us being here.”

With the help of multiple linguists from each country, the exercise was able to overcome the challenge of language barriers, allowing each nation to adapt quickly to each scenario.

The scenarios were designed to enable the execution of HADR mission sets, focusing on both benign and hostile environments.

“It's been a privilege to observe the incremental learning of our personnel as they take on valuable lessons throughout the exercise,” Larter said.
“They have performed with aplomb, and the USAF and JASDF are full of admiration regarding our work ethic, experience and innovation. I am extremely proud of the way the RAAF has performed and contributed to this highly successful HADR exercise.”

Cope North allows U.S. and allied forces to practice HADR efforts to prepare for and recover from the devastating effects of natural disasters.

The relationships built and sustained with multinational partners in the Indo-Pacific region through exercises, civil military operations and military exchanges help tremendously in humanitarian efforts and in preserving peace and stability in the region.
CONNECT WITH USINDOPACOM
Facebook

Like Us
X
362,157
Follow Us

ENGAGE & CONNECT MORE WITH PACOM

                                                 

IN THE USINDOPACOM NEWS
U.S. Forces Participate in Indian Navy-led Exercise MILAN
VISHAKAPATNAM, India (Feb. 18, 2024) First Lieutenant, LTJG Ezra Haddock, from San Diego, Calif., waves in forward tug while pulling into port in support of Exercise Milan 2024 onboard the forecastle of the arleigh-burke class guided missile destroyer USS Halsey (DDG-97), Feb. 18, 2024. U.S. Navy photo by ENS Chloe VonderLinden.
Feb. 22, 2024 - U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey (DDG 97) joined ships, aircraft and personnel from India and numerous other navies to begin Exercise MILAN 2024 in the Bay of Bengal, Feb. 19...

Rapid Tanto: 5th Anglico Implements Expeditionary Advance Base Operations Concepts
U.S. Marines with 5th Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company, III Marine Expeditionary Force Information Group, conduct a patrol during a communications field exercise, Rapid Tanto, at Ie Shima, Okinawa, Japan, Feb. 6, 2024. The patrol allowed Marines to conduct communication training including 9-line casualty evacuation with field radios. 5th ANGLICO and 3rd Intelligence Battalion demonstrated proficiency in planning, coordination, and execution of dynamic targeting capable of supporting maritime campaigns in an increasingly contested Indo-Pacific. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. William Wallace)
Feb. 22, 2024 - Just under four nautical miles from Motobu Peninsula, Okinawa, Japan U.S. Marines with 5th Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company, III Marine Expeditionary Force Information Group, traveled from Camp Hansen to Ie Shima, a remote...

The United States, Nepal Launch Multinational Peacekeeping Exercise Shanti Prayas IV
Nepali soldiers participate in the opening ceremony of Exercise Shanti Prayas IV, a Multinational Peacekeeping Exercise, at the Nepali Army Headquarters on Feb. 20, 2024. Shanti Prayas IV is a multinational peacekeeping exercise sponsored by the Nepali Army and U.S. Indo-Pacific Command and is the latest in a series of exercises designed to support peacekeeping operations. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl John Hall)
Feb. 20, 2024 - With the Nepali Army Headquarters building as a backdrop, representatives from 19 nations stood before Nepali and U.S. dignitaries at the Army parade ground in Kathmandu, February 20, to celebrate the opening ceremony of the...

U.S., Japan and Australia Conduct Trilateral Exercise in Bay of Bengal
231117-N-FK754-870 BAY OF BENGAL (Feb. 17, 2024) The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey (DDG 97), sails with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Takanami-class destroyer JS Sazanami (DD 113) and Royal Australian Navy Anzac-class frigate HMAS Warramunga (FFH 152) during trilateral operations in the Bay of Bengal, Feb. 17-18. U.S. 7th Fleet is the U.S. Navy’s largest forward-deployed numbered fleet, and routinely interacts and operates with allies and partners in preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ismael Martinez)
Feb. 20, 2024 - The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey (DDG 97) conducted a trilateral exercise with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) and Royal Australian Navy (RAN) to strengthen interoperability and...

Department of Defense participating in Singapore Airshow 2024
Feb. 20, 2024 - The U.S. Department of Defense will participate in the Singapore Airshow 2024 with aerial demonstrations and static displays at Changi Exhibition Center, Republic of Singapore, Feb. 20-25...