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NEWS | Jan. 30, 2015

Guam to Host Japan and Australia for exercise Cope North '15

By Release Number: 010115

The U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, Japan Air Self-Defense Force and Royal Australian Air Force will conduct the 86th iteration of the annual exercise COPE NORTH 15 at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, Feb. 15 through 27.

Exercise CN15 is part of an annual, long-standing multilateral exercise, designed to enhance each countries' air operations. As part of COPE NORTH 15, additional participants from the Republic of Korea and New Zealand will join with the U.S., Japan and Australia forces to conduct humanitarian assistance and disaster relief training.

The U.S. Air Force and Navy will have approximately 1,300 participants; JASDF will have approximately 430 participants; RAAF will have approximately 240 participants; ROKAF will send approximately 20 participants; and RNZAF will send approximately eight. Approximately 100 USAF, USN, JASDF, and RAAF aircraft from 23 flying units will participate in the exercise.

CN15 marks the first year of Royal New Zealand Air Force participation in the humanitarian assistance and disaster relief portion of the training and the second year for the Republic of Korea Air Force's participation. This will also be the first time during a Cope North exercise that the USAF, ROKAF and RNZAF will conduct multilateral personnel recovery and search and rescue operations.

The first week of the exercise will consist of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief training and air combat training. During the second part of the exercise, the focus will shift to large force employment training, fighter versus fighter air combat tactics training and air-to-ground strike mission training over the Farallon de Medinilla Range, 160 nautical miles north of Guam.

Since the first COPE NORTH exercise in 1978 at Misawa Air Base, Japan, thousands of U.S. and Japanese Airmen have honed skills vital to maintaining a high level of readiness, inherent to the stability of the region. CN15 is the fourth iteration that COPE NORTH will be a trilateral exercise with the U.S., Australia and Japan.

COPE NORTH was previously held in Japan as often as four times a year, and was moved to Andersen AFB, Guam, in 1999. The exercise is now held once a year, and continues to serve as a keystone event to promote stability and security throughout the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

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