Since India came to the United States' aid after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the two countries have engaged in the most active military-to-military exchanges in 40 years. The latest round was Cope India, set for Oct. 21-25 at Agra Air Base, India. Pacific Air Forces sent C-130 aircraft and 150 personnel from Yokota Air Base, Japan; Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, and Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. The two militaries have participated in training exercises and visits since 1962, when the first U.S.-India military exercises were held after the Sino-Indian border war, but not to the degree in these recent exchanges. The Air Force exercises - Cope India was the third in six months - are a continuation of President Bush's policy toward India. After Sept. 11, when India was one of the first nations to offer the United States help, Bush lifted U.S. sanctions and called for a more open relationship.
During Cope India, the U.S. Air Force and Indian air force exchanged information on airlifts plus loading and unloading operations and procedures. Two dozen troops from the 613th Contingency Response Squadron at Andersen Air Force Base conducted airfield assessment operations, such as how to evaluate a suitable airfield at a deployed location. They showed the Indians how to determine the best location for a tent city in case they want to embed troops or aircraft somewhere.
Cope India 2004
Air Forces from the United States and India participated in the second Cope India exercise Feb. 15-27, 2004. The exercise at Gwalior Air Force Station, India, will provide valuable training for aircrew and maintenance personnel, and will enhance military-to-military relationship between the U.S. Air Force and the Indian Air Force.
During Cope India 04, both forces will conduct their first bilateral dissimilar air combat exercise together to enhance relations and the understanding of each other's mutual capabilities. U.S. Air Force assets participating include F-15 aircraft and approximately 140 personnel from Elmendorf AFB, Alaska. A variety of IAF aircraft will participate including Mirage 2000, MIG-21, MIG-27, SU-30 and Jaguar.
The first bilateral dissimilar air combat exercise between the U.S. Air Force and the Indian air force in more than 40 years began Feb. 16. Approximately 150 airmen from Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, are here for the exercise. Dissimilar AIR COMBAT TRAINING, otherwise known as DACT, is simulated combat flying between two different types of aircraft. Indian air force aircraft participating in the exercise include the Mirage 2000, MiG-21, MiG-27 and SU-30. The airmen from Elmendorf are flying F-15 Eagles. Cope India 04 afforded each air force the opportunity to enhance and mature operational understanding and set the basis for future cooperation.
The station, located approximately 10 miles from the city of Gwalior in North Central India, is one of the oldest Indian air force bases in South Asia. The air force station is the center hub of operational training, testing and national-level exercises and includes the only Indian air force electronic warfare range, used to aid new pilots in aircraft familiarization.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|