Home Air US hosts Australian, Japanese, French forces in Guam for exercise Cope North

US hosts Australian, Japanese, French forces in Guam for exercise Cope North

Cope North 2023 participants
Cope North participants conduct a flyover at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, Feb. 7, 2022. Photo: US Air Force

Air force personnel from three countries have begun arriving in Guam to establish the command and control multinational task force for the US-hosted exercise Cope North 2023.

Running from February 8 to 24, Cope North will gather some 1,000 US airmen, marines, and sailors alongside 1,000 combined Japan Air Self-Defense Force, Royal Australian Air Force, and French Air and Space Force service members in CN23.

About 100 aircraft from the United States, Australia, Japan, and France will fly 1,200 sorties across seven islands and 10 airfields.

CN23 is a multilateral US Pacific Air Forces-sponsored field training exercise focused on trilateral airborne integration for large-force employment, agile combat employment, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HA/DR) training.

Operations will take place at Andersen Air Force Base, Won Pat International Airport, and Northwest Field, Guam; Commonwealth Northern Mariana Islands including Rota, Tinian, and Saipan; Yap in the Federated States of Micronesia; Iwo To, Japan; and the Republic of Palau.

According to the US Air Force, CN23 objectives aim “to further integrate the contributions of allies and partners to enhance security and stability to maintain a free and open Indo-Pacific region.”

Specific tactics, techniques and procedures planned during the exercise include accomplish precise and challenging trilateral planning, execution, and debrief training in large force exercises; stress, validate, and improve US and trilateral ACE capabilities in dispersed locations; enable combat air forces and ACE training requirements via seamless coalition airlift and logistics operations; and demonstrate safe and effective conduct of combined and synergistic HA/DR operations.

The exercise concludes with a HA/DR event that reinforces the militaries’ combined ability to support any type of disaster in the Indo-Pacific region, including the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Republic of Palau, and Yap in the Federated States of Micronesia.

Established in 1978 as a quarterly bilateral exercise held at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Cope North moved to Andersen AFB in 1999. It is US Pacific Air Forces’ largest multilateral exercise.