Many Nations, One Effort: Cope North 24

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Antwain Hanks
  • 35th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Recently, members from the 35th Fighter Wing’s 14th Fighter Squadron and 14th Fighter Generation Squadron headed out to support the trilateral joint exercise, Cope North 24, alongside U.S. Sailors, Marines, and troops from Australia, Canada, France, South Korea and Japan.

Established in 1978 as a quarterly bilateral exercise held at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Cope North moved to Anderson AFB in 1999. It soon evolved into the U.S. Pacific Air Forces’ largest annual multilateral exercise, hosting multiple Allied partners.

This year's iteration of Cope North focuses on developing participating nations' ability to execute large-force employment under the Agile Combat Employment concept to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific.

“This exercise is critical to increasing the interoperability and capabilities of the US Air Force with two of our most important allies in the INDOPACOM region, the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF),” expressed Lt. Col. Josh Plocinski, 14h Fighter Squadron commander.

“Using the strategically significant island of Guam as our base of operations, we can plan, fly, and fight alongside participating forces from Japan, Canada, France, Australia and South Korea. We will be able to execute defensive & offensive counter-air missions with our fighter aircraft as well as logistics movements with our mobility air forces aircraft and allied forces.”


Through training together, approximately 2,400 troops from the participating nations are allotted a chance to practice together and enhance cooperation by sharing data, intelligence and tactics, ultimately improving interoperability among one another.

This year's iteration will be led by a joint international command structure with leaders from the U.S., Australia, and Japan, a first for the exercise.



Almost any contingency in the INDOPACOM theater would involve close coordination with Japan and Australia, so any opportunities to train and fly together are valuable. Executing a large force employment mission is a very complex undertaking. The ability to operate very closely with the RAAF and JASDF gives us more experience flying together and building the interpersonal and professional relationships we would rely on during a real-world contingency.
Lt. Col. Josh Plocinski