Japan Air Self-Defense Force, Royal Australian Air Force, Republic of Korea Air Force, Royal New Zealand Air Force, Philippine Air Force and U.S. Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard have joined together for the humanitarian assistance and disaster relief portion of Exercise Cope North 15 in Guam and throughout the region of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands February 15 through 18.
“This marked the first time the RNZAF and PAF participated in Cope North to assist with the aeromedical evacuation portion of the HA/DR exercise” says US PACOM in a news release.
“Natural disasters are very common – there’s a lot of volcanic activity, there’s earthquakes, tsunamis and typhoons that remain a threat throughout the region, so practicing our capabilities and improving our capacities, and not just the United States, but all our partners in the region … working together, we can cover more area together,” U.S. Air Force Capt. Mark Nexon, Cope North 15 HA/DR mission commander said as quoted in U.S. Pacific Command’s official website.
Cope North was designed to increase interoperability, improve combat readiness, and develop a synergistic disaster response capability between the countries involved. The second half of Cope North focuses to air combat training which will include air-to-air and air-to-ground combat and a large force employment exercise.