IAF, US air force conduct joint exercise 'Ex Cope India 2018'

The fourth edition of the series of bilateral joint exercise, ‘Ex Cope India-18’, began between the air forces of the United States and India on December 3, 2018 in West Bengal, India.

The 12-day exercise will be held from December 3-14 at Air Station Kalaikunda and Air Station Arjan Singh in Panagarh airbase. This is the first time that the exercise is being planned at two Air Force bases.

Aim: The main aim of exercise is to provide operational exposure and undertake mutual exchange of best practices towards enhancing operational capability.

Cope India: Key Highlights

The Cope India exercise is being held after a gap of eight years, with the last one having taken place in 2010.

The exercise is a long-standing bilateral US Pacific Air Forces-sponsored Field Training Exercise, conducted with the Indian Air Force.

It focuses on enhancing mutual cooperation between the US and India and building on the existing capabilities, aircrew tactics and force employment.

It showcases efforts and commitment of the two nations to build a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

Around 200 men from the US Air Force with 15 aircraft from the 18th Wing, Kadena Air Base, Japan and 182nd Airlift Wing, Illinois Air National Guard will take part in the exercise alongside men from the Indian Air Force.

While the air force of the United States (USAF) is participating with 12 X F15 C/D and 03 X C-130, the IAF is participating with the Su-30 MKI, Jaguar, Mirage 2000 , C-130J and AWACS aircraft.

Cope India

Cope India is a series of joint Air Force exercises held between the Indian Air Force and the United States Air Force, in India.

The first such exercise, which required many months of preparation, was conducted at the air force station in Gwalior in February 2004.

The exercise included flight tests, practice and demonstrations as well as lectures on subjects related to aviation.

There were also media functions and social interactions held among troops of the two countries.

The exercise has now evolved to incorporate subject matter expert exchanges, air mobility training, airdrop training and large-force exercises, in addition to fighter-training exercises.

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