Cope North to launch airpower display over Guam, Tinian and FSM next month
By Mar-Vic Cagurangan
Approximately 130 military aircraft from the U.S., Japan and Australia will soar over Guam, Tinian and the Federated States of Micronesia next month for this year's Cope North, the U.S. Pacific Air Forces’ largest multilateral exercise.
According to air force officials, more than 2,000 sorties are planned across seven islands and 10 airfields, during the annual event that will be held from Feb. 2 to 18.
More than 2,500 U.S. airmen, marines and sailors will train alongside 1,000 combined Japan Air Self-Defense Force and Royal Australia Air Force service members, military officials said.
"Air forces from the United States, Japan and Australia will conduct humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations, as well as large force employment and combat air forces training.
Officials said agile combat employment, or ACE, will be a key feature for U.S. forces participating in the exercise this year.
"ACE is Pacific Air Forces’ model to project combat power via a network of distributed operating locations throughout the Indo-Pacific region," according to a media advisory from the air force.
On Feb. 8, U.S. and Royal Australian Air Force F-15s will be operating out of Northwest Field, "a strategically important airfield during World War II that was all but abandoned until fighter jets participating in Cope North 21 became the first to land there in over 70 years," officials said.