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February 14, 2013
MORE than 230 RAAF personnel and
10 aircraft are in Guam participating
in Exercise Cope North Guam 2013 --
only the second time in history.
The joint field training exercise at
Andersen Air Force Base, which began
on February 4 and is due to finish on
February 15, also involves the US Air
Force (USAF) and Japanese Air Self-
Defense Force (JASDF).
Seven F/A-18As from 3SQN and
a Wedgetail from 2SQN are partici-
pating in the large-force employment
and air combat exercise, supported by
a 33SQN KC-30A tanker, which has
deployed for the first time in an exer-
cise outside of Australia.
In the first week of Cope North
Guam, a 36SQN C-130J participated
in a separate humanitarian assistance
and disaster relief scenario, which also
drew on the experience of Combat
Support Group personnel deployed for
They included specialists from
security, logistics, communications,
health, ground engineering and admin-
WE'RE HERE: Above, members of 3SQN carefully guide an F/A-18 into
place in front of a USAF E-3 Sentry aircraft on the flightline at Andersen
Air Force Base in Guam after arriving for Exercise Cope North Guam.
Right inset, SGT Sean Toohey and SGT Tony Richardson, of 2SQN,
explore the ordnance bay of a USAF B-52 bomber. Photos: LAC Craig Barrett
The year's first big exercise begins in Guam
As part of the scenario, observers
from the Republic of Korea also took
part -- another first for the exercise.
More than 1000 USAF personnel
are participating, along with nearly
450 from the JASDF.
The USAF are operating F-16
Fighting Falcon, B-52 Stratofortress,
F-15 Eagle, E-3 Sentry, C-130 and
KC-135 aircraft, while the JASDF
have F-15J Eagle, F-2 Support Fighter,
C-130 Hercules, KC-767 Air Refueller
and E-2C Hawkeye aircraft.
OC 81WG GPCAPT Robert
Chipman said the exercise would be an
opportunity for Air Force to learn how
other countries operate.
"In the mixed operational environ-
ment that the RAAF deploy in, this
training will be invaluable," he said.
"There will be many important lessons
learnt from our participation in this
He said aircrew would develop an
appreciation of the capabilities and
strengths of the different aircraft types.
"This is valuable training for Air
Combat Group and Surveillance and
Response Group personnel who may
be required to operate in a coalition
environment in the future," GPCAPT
"For the members participating in
the humanitarian assistance and disas-
ter relief exercise, this gives the per-
sonnel an opportunity to be skilled
at working with coalition forces in
"Without these exercises, personnel
won't get this vital understanding until
they are deployed in real-time."
Exercise Cope North Guam is a bi-
annual exercise which started in 1978
between the USAF and JASDF.
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