The trilateral drills are set to run from Feb. 2 to 18 and will focus on enhancing interoperability between the RAAF, the USAF, and Japan’s Koku-Jieitai air self-defence force.
This will be the first joint military exercises between Australia and Japan since the two signed a historic defence agreement at the start of January.
The reciprocal agreement—Japan’s only such pact—increases the interoperability between the Australian Defence Force and Japan’s Self-Defence Force, including for humanitarian response purposes.
During Cope North 22, the allies will work to increase interoperability through combined tactics, techniques, and procedures for providing humanitarian and disaster relief.
It will also provide an opportunity for pilots from the trilateral forces to practice in environments with a large number of aircraft operating at once.
“We are very pleased to be heading back to Guam for Cope North 22, which will provide invaluable experience for our personnel and enhances the effectiveness of the RAAF,” said Group Captain Andrew McHugh, the RAAF Task Unit Commander.
“Through Cope North 22, we are focused on deepening relationships and strengthening engagement with the USAF’s Pacific Air Force and the Koku-Jieitai, to contribute to our shared vision of an open, inclusive and resilient Indo-Pacific.”
The RAAF will deploy its early warning control aircraft, the E-7A Wedgetail, transport aircraft the C-27J Spartan, the KC-30A multi-role tanker transport, and F-35A Lightning II stealth combat aircraft, alongside a contingency response squadron focused on humanitarian and disaster relief training.
“Cope North 22 will enhance the tri-lateral forces’ capability for HADR in the Indo-Pacific, ensuring a highly effective and professional response, when needed,” McHugh said.
“We are committed to developing an intelligent and skilled workforce with exercises such as Cope North providing the opportunity to operate as a combined force with the United States and Japan, and ensure our people can deliver airpower when required.”