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Australian Government - Department of Defence

Australian, United States and Japan conclude Exercise Cope North 21

19 February 2021

Forces from Australia, the United States and Japan have successfully completed the annual trilateral Exercise Cope North.

The exercise was held at the United States' Andersen Air Force Base in Guam from 3 to 19 February 2021.

Commander of the Australian Task Group, Group Captain Nathan Christie said Exercise Cope North demonstrates our shared commitment and vision for a secure and stable Indo-Pacific region.

"This exercise is an important opportunity for our three nations, individually and collectively, to develop our capability to deliver air and space power as part of a combined and interoperable force," Group Captain Christie said.

"Equally, as the world continues to grapple with the effects of COVID-19 and a range of natural disasters, exercises such as Cope North enhance our collective humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness.

"They also demonstrate Australia's focus on enhancing the bonds between our three nations, and are testament to the strength and adaptability of the trilateral partnership."

More than 2,000 military personnel and around 95 aircraft from the Royal Australian Air Force, United States Air Force, United States Navy, United States Marine Corps and Japan Air Self-Defense Force participated in Cope North 2021.

Australia's contribution to the exercise included around 170 personnel, an E-7A Wedgetail, a KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport, a Contingency Response Squadron and operational headquarters staff.

The health and safety of all Australian Defence Force personnel on exercise is paramount.

A range of COVIDSafe measures were put in place for Exercise Cope North to ensure the risk of potentially contracting COVID-19 was minimised. Personnel were tested for COVID-19 on departure from Guam and will complete mandatory state or territory quarantine, in line with other returning Australians.

Their release from quarantine is contingent on the testing requirements of the jurisdictions they isolate in.

This year marks the Centenary of the RAAF, and the eleventh year of Australia's involvement in Exercise Cope North.

Media contacts

Issued by Ministerial and Executive Coordination and Communication,
Department of Defence,
Canberra, ACT
Email: media@defence.gov.au

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