COPE North Airmen demonstrate agility during Typhoon Wutip evacuation

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  • Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs

COPE North 2019 paused Feb. 22 as a precautionary measure due to hazardous conditions and potentially damaging winds caused by Typhoon Wutip.

For the safety and security of assets, aircraft will either bed down at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, or relocated to alternate locations until the weather is more favorable for safe operations. 

“While the unplanned weather paused training for COPE North 2019, Typhoon Wutip provided the nearly 3,000 multilateral exercise participates an opportunity to swiftly implement an inclement weather plan for the approximately 100 aircraft assigned to the exercise and test their ability to rapidly maneuver throughout the theater at a moment’s notice,” explained Col. Jason Cockrum, U.S. COPE North 2019 exercise director and 35th Fighter Wing operations group commander. “Typhoon Wutip is an opportunity to demonstrate the airpower the three nations provide, and the multilateral alliance is overcoming this weather challenge through deliberate planning and disciplined execution.

During the remainder of the exercise, U.S., Royal Australian Air Force and Japan Air Self-Defense Force airmen will continue to hone vital readiness skills and improve interoperability among multiple mission areas including tactical airlift, contingency response coordination, aeromedical evacuation, as well as air superiority, interdiction, electronic warfare, tactical airlift and aerial refueling capabilities.

“A premier exercise like COPE North is designed to challenge our ability to connect, communicate, and succeed multilaterally,” added Maj. Matthew Sabraw, lead COPE North 2019 planner and 35th Fighter Wing operations group chief of standardization and evaluation. “With the weather rolling in, we are united in using it as an opportunity to truly work together to rapidly solve problems just as we would in a crisis or contingency. Our relationships are strengthened through this trial and our alliance is closer as a result of COPE North and the response to Typhoon Wutip.”

COPE North 2019 will resume once the conditions are more favorable for safer flight operations. More information pertaining to the pause and resumption of COPE North 2019 will be released as it becomes available.