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The 317th integrates with partners during Cope North 22

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Josiah Brown
  • 7th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

Over 100 personnel and four C-130J Super Hercules from the 317th Airlift Wing participated in exercise Cope North 2022 from Feb. 2-18 at Anderson Air Force Base, Guam.

The exercise gave Airmen valuable experience in working with partner forces while supporting large-scale humanitarian crises. The training also provided the opportunity to practice in a complex environment with more aircraft in the airspace than formal training would usually allow. 

Exercise Cope North is an annual U.S. Pacific Air Forces joint, multilateral field training exercise that focuses on training and building relationships with regional allies and partners.

“Participating in this exercise helped hone our skills through working with different aircraft and military personnel in a different environment,” said Capt. Brendan King, 40th Airlift Squadron pilot. “We were able to refine our mission expectations and solidify existing procedures during our training missions.”

This year, members from the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, Japan Air Self-Defense Force, and Royal Australian Air Force participated in the exercise. The joint forces focused on coordinating combined air tactics, techniques, and procedures, enhancing security cooperation and stability in the Indo-Pacific region, and humanitarian assistance or disaster relief.

During Cope North 2022, the 317th Airlift Wing executed multinational airdrops and austere landings in unfamiliar island conditions while the aircrew members simulated search and rescue missions during a man-overboard scenario. They also rapidly deployed a Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief ground force and F-35 unit to two locations and provided multinational transportation between several islands in the Northern Mariana Islands.

The 317th AW  also conducted Agile Combat Employment concepts during the exercise to improve its military’s capability to project combat power through a network of distributed operating locations throughout the Indo-Pacific.

Together, the U.S., JASDF, and RAAF service members’ joint missions have helped each country’s military improve its operational capabilities, ensuring their readiness for future military employment.

“This exercise gave us insight into the lives and different habits of our brothers and sisters in arms,” King said. “The human factor is a hard thing to replicate, but it is absolutely crucial. The more chances we find to practice with our foreign allies, the better we will become at executing a joint mission.”