Cope Jade is a USAF/ROK joint/combined three to four day air defense/tactical offensive exercise using Korean Ranges. The exercise is conducted quarterly and is designed to test and evaluate the ROK Tactical Air Control System (KTACS) while conducting the ROK air campaign. Cope Jade is an air component command exercise that focuses on joint and combined operations required to defend the Republic of Korea against North Korean aggression. It is usually held three times a year.
In June 1999 eight F-15Cs from the 44th Fighter Squadron, Kadena Air Base, Japan, deployed to Kwang Ju Air Base, Republic of Korea, to participate in Cope Jade, a joint exercise between air, sea and land forces from the U.S. and Republic of Korea. People deployed from eight different bases across the Pacific Air Forces, including Elmendorf and Eielson Air Force Bases, Alaska; Kunsan and Osan Air Bases, Republic of Korea; Yokota and Kadena Air Bases, Japan; Anderson AFB, Guam; and Hickam AFB, Hawaii.
The purpose of the exercise, which began June 15, was to maximize the effectiveness of air power and interoperability of two countries' forces. The exercise ended June 18. The Kadena F-15Cs joined 18 F-15Es from the 90th Fighter Squadron from Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska. The 90th is part of the 3rd Expeditionary Group, which was established at Kwang Ju. The 3rd Air Expeditionary Group and its more than 650 people deployed to show United States commitment to the peace and prosperity within the Korean theater. People and cargo, which included 422 short tons (nearly 1 million pounds), was brought over a 10-day window aboard nine C-5s, two C-130s and a MD-11 commercial contractor aircraft.
Cope Jade presents an excellent opportunity for us to integrate forces with allies and sister services. During Cope Jade, missions are tasked, disseminated, planned, briefed and flown very similar to the way they would in combat. Proper command, control and communications is always one of the toughest challenges faced in a large operation. Cope Jade allows forces to experience and refine that process.
Kwang Ju's flight line was a very busy place with around-the-clock movement of F-15Es, F-15Cs and Republic of Korean F-5s flying in the exercise. Since arriving, the 90th had flown more than 200 sorties. While the squadron flew the same number of daily sorties during the exercise, some dynamics of the flights were different. The differences were due to the nature of the missions, which were integrated with the Republic of Korea Air Force and other United States Air Force units.
This is a great opportunity to fly over another terrain. Here there is the chance to fly over land and mountains. Other units involved in Cope Jade - but not operating out of Kwang Ju include F-16s from Kunsan and Osan Air Bases, South Korea; E-3 AWACS from Kadena; and Marine Corps F/A-18s assigned to Iwakuni Marine Corps Air Station, Japan. Various Army, Navy and other Marine Corps assets were also participating.
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