The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has deployed an Air Task Group to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, to participate in Exercise Cope North 2017, which is intended to improve combat readiness and humanitarian assistance procedures, and increase interoperability.
Defence stated that “up to 12” F/A-18A Hornets from 3 Squadron have been assigned to the exercise, and will be operating alongside aircraft from the US and Japan.
In addition, E-7A Wedgetail airborne early warning and control aircraft will provide a command-and-control capability, and a C-130J Hercules tactical airlifter will be providing an airdrop and combat search-and-rescue capability.
“This is the sixth time Australia has participated in the exercise,” said Group Captain Tim Alsop, the Australian commander for the exercise.
“Every year we gain more appreciation of how our equipment, aircraft and personnel operate together in this environment. Cope North gives us the opportunity to validate how effective our training is in a complex and demanding air combat scenario.”
Cope North 2017 runs from February 15 until March 3, and involves more than 100 aircraft overall.