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 | June 28, 2023

Language-Enabled Airmen Strengthen Commitment to Regional Allies During Exercise Cope North 2023

By Mikala McCurry, AFCLC Outreach Team AFCLC

The United States has placed major emphasis on partnering to build resilience in the Pacific Islands and expanding allies and partners’ cooperation in the U.S. Indo-Pacific Strategy. Exercise Cope North is one way the United States Air Force addresses this commitment each year.

Cope North is an annual field training exercise sponsored by U.S. Pacific Air Forces that allows each participating partner nation to hone vital readiness skills while enhancing interoperability among multiple mission areas including air superiority, interdiction, electronic warfare, tactical airlift, and aerial refueling capabilities. 

Two Japanese Language Enabled Airman Program Scholars worked alongside U.S. Air Force airfield experts to advance a free and open Indo-Pacific through the exchange of skills with the Japan Air Self-Defense Force and Royal Australian Air Force partners during Exercise Cope North 2023 (CN23), which took place Feb. 2-22, 2023, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam.

“Having support from language-enabled Airmen for this event is invaluable and vital for mission success. Cope North is historically the No. 1 or 2 highest priority in PACAF out of roughly 47 annual exercises, and the linguist support enabled the USAF and RAAF to further interoperability with our JASDF Allies,” COPE NORTH lead planner Lt. Col. David Overstreet said.

Maj. Brandon Krupa and Senior Airman Tadayoshi Kiriyama provided Japanese language support for the event by interpreting conversations and briefings between the U.S. military and partner nation militaries on various discussion topics including agile combat employment, humanitarian assistance/disaster relief, command relationships, and international relationships.

“The United States-Japan alliance is one of the world's most important and enduring alliances and the bedrock for a free and open Indo-Pacific. Although this relationship has provided security and stability to the region for generations, China’s rise in military power and global influence has required a reexamination of the alliance's mutual defense agreement and architecture,” Krupa said. “Field training exercises like CN23 are held to increase interoperability and integrate command and control to increase regional deterrence and combat capabilities.”

While Krupa does not get the opportunity to utilize his Japanese language skillset on a normal basis in his current assignment, this Language Intensive Training event afforded him a chance to strengthen his skills through direct interpretation and translation work. 

“This LITE allowed me to work firsthand with our JASDF counterparts and US forces at the operational and tactical level as they exercise the agile combat employment scheme of maneuver and send strategic messaging to our adversaries in the region,” he explained. “It also allowed me the opportunity to utilize my Japanese in an operational setting while giving me insights that will aid me in my next assignment as a U.S. Indo-Pacific Command staff officer.”

Both LEAP Scholars gained knowledge of Indo-Pacific relations with priority partners in the region while supporting the U.S. Air Force with strengthening commitment to the region.

“LEAP involvement in Cope North allows us the opportunity to continue to strengthen our interoperability and relationships in the region. The USAF relationship with JASDF and RAAF is very strong but can only get stronger with clear language communication across all three nations,” Overstreet said.




U.S., Canada, Japan and the Philippines Conduct Multilateral Operations
240616-N-N0824-0100 PHILIPPINE SEA (June 16, 2024) The Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Gregorio del Pilar-class patrol ship BRP Andres Bonifacio (PS 17), front, sails in formation with the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ralph Johnson (DDG 114), the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) ship JS Kirisame (DD 104), and the Royal Canadian Navy Halifax-class frigate HMCS Montreal (FFH 336) in the Philippine Sea during a multilateral Maritime Cooperative Activity (MCA) between Canada, Japan, the Philippines, and the United States, June 16, 2024. Participating units include the Montreal (FFH 336), the Kirisame, the Andres Bonifacio, and the Ralph Johnson. MCAs demonstrate a collective commitment to promote and strengthen regional and international cooperation in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific. Ralph Johnson is forward deployed and assigned to Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, the Navy’s largest DESRON and the U.S. 7th fleet’s principal surface force. 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. (Courtesy Photo)
June 17, 2024 - U.S. Navy, Royal Canadian Navy, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, and Armed Forces of the Philippines conducted a Maritime Cooperative Activity (MCA) in the Philippines’ Exclusive Economic Zone, upholding freedom of...

Strengthening Military-Civilian Relations and Partnerships on Global Health Security
Civilians, defense and security partners within the Indo-Pacific region participate in collaborative panel discussions during the Military Civilian Health Security Summit co-hosted by the Australian Defence Force and U.S. Indo-Pacific Command in Sydney, June 17, 2024. Established in 2018, the MCHSS symbolizes a unified commitment to address global health security challenges and provides an opportunity for participants to share valuable insights and enhance regional readiness by improving coordination and collaboration between military and civilian entities. USINDOPACOM is committed to enhancing stability in the Indo-Pacific region by promoting security cooperation, encouraging peaceful development, responding to contingencies and deterring aggression. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Austin Riel)
June 16, 2024 - SYDNEY — The Australian Defence Force and U.S. Indo-Pacific Command co-hosted the Military Civilian Health Security Summit in Sydney, June 16-17, bringing together 23 Indo-Pacific partner nations, international organizations,...

U.S. Indo-Pacific Commander Travels to Indonesia
Adm. Samuel J. Paparo, commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, conducts an inspection with Vice Adm. Erwin S. Aldedharma, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Indonesian Navy, during his first official visit to Indonesia as USINDOPACOM commander, June 13, 2024. The U.S. and Indonesia share a deep and enduring strategic partnership, anchored in shared values of democracy and a commitment to the rules-based international order. USINDOPACOM is committed to enhancing stability in the Indo-Pacific region by promoting security cooperation, encouraging peaceful development, responding to contingencies, deterring aggression and, when necessary, fighting to win. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class John Bellino)
June 14, 2024 - JAKARTA, Indonesia — Adm. Samuel J. Paparo, commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, visited Indonesia June 11-14, to meet with senior military and government officials as the two nations celebrate the 75th anniversary of...

Joint Task Force Micronesia Holds Assumption of Command Ceremony
Adm. Samuel J. Paparo, commander, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, and Rear Adm. Gregory C. Huffman exchange salutes during the Joint Task Force – Micronesia assumption of command ceremony on Andersen Air Force Base, June 14, 2024. During the ceremony, Rear Adm. Gregory C. Huffman assumed command, and will serve as the first two-star admiral in the area in over 70 years. The establishment of Joint Task Force – Micronesia reflects the commitment of Department of Defense to support our pacing challenge throughout the region and bolster homeland defense.
June 14, 2024 - Adm. Samuel J. Paparo, commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, presided over the establishment ceremony of Joint Task Force-Micronesia (JTF-M) at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam on June 14, 2024, where Rear Adm. Gregory C...

613 Air Operations Center strengthens ties with Japan’s Air Defense Command in landmark agreement
240612-F-UX259-1023 (June 12, 2024) Japan Air Self-Defense Force Col. Kohei Kurachi, Commander of the JASDF Air Defense Command Air Operations Center, and U.S. Air Force Col. Chris McFarland, Commander of the 613 Air Operations Center, sign the AOC and ADC standard operating procedure agreement, at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Jun. 12, 2024. The two air forces work together to increase readiness, interoperability and support peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Master Sgt. Rob Webb)
June 13, 2024 - In a move aimed at bolstering bilateral cooperation, the U.S. Air Force 613th Air Operations Center has signed an agreement with the Japan Air Self-Defense Force Air Defense Command at Pacific Air Forces Headquarters...