Exercise Co-operative Cope Thunder

JaiS
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Exercise Co-operative Cope Thunder

Postby JaiS » 03 Jul 2004 18:46

This thread is for tracking the IAF deployment during the exercise Co-operative Cope Thunder 2004. Post all related news, articles, photos and opinions in this thread.

Battlefield Alaska


When Group Captain S.J. Nanodkar lands in Alaska with his magnificent men in their flying machines to go head-to-head against American, British, Japanese and German fighter pilots, all radars will try to lock on him.

He has a reputation to defend—that Indian pilots are smarter, more skilled and steer some of the best aircraft. Cold Alaska will be turning hot with anticipation, the Eielson Air Force Base buzzing and whirring not only with the Jaguars and F-15s, but with mind games. Will Nanodkar and his team win the contest again? The last time they met, Indian pilots outgunned the Americans, scored most of the "kills" and shook up the Pentagon chiefs.

This time, however, the exercises involve other big boys of NATO. At the invitation of the US Air Force (USAF), the Indian Air Force (IAF) is participating for the first time in multi-nation combat exercises, equipped with six Jaguars, two heavy lift IL-76 transport planes, two IL-78 tankers and a 200-strong team. Cooperative Cope Thunder 2004 is a tough test with multiple mock scenarios of assassinations, unrest, rescue and other emergencies.

In other words, an imagined "real" world will come alive for 15 days with crises erupting and governments toppling. At the height of the battle, up to 70 jets could be flying in the same airspace at one time. The IAF will be part of the "Blue" forces or the good guys, fighting off the "Reds" or the bad guys. No ideological compulsions here, the colours are simply a tradition coming down from World War II. The USAF has teams on both sides. Ground forces will be "White" or neutral, doing the umpiring and ensuring everyone’s safety.

It is serious business. Most units arrive a week early to get a feel of the 66,000 square miles of airspace, including high-altitude areas, spread over the US and Canada. They need to get acclimatised, learn about local flying restrictions (caution: watch for polar bears and people), and prepare mentally for the test. They may bring their yoga mats—in the two weeks, air crews will be subjected to every conceivable war threat and every nerve-wracking situation imaginable. Scenario builders are toughies. "It is a very dynamic and fluid situation. It can vary from minute to minute. Scenarios are created to give advantage to some and you don’t know what the enemy will field," says Air Commodore Sumit Mukerji, air attache at the Indian embassy. You have to study the given info, anticipate your enemy’s moves in the air and plan your attack in the span of a few hours. And resolve the imponderables such as the decoding of the Yank accent or a southern Indian twister at high altitude with a missile on your tail. Or converting kilometres into miles if you are with the non-metric guys of the USAF.

Joint exercises are all about learning and improving, they say, but the last lesson was a bitter one—for the USAF. That they can’t take their air superiority for granted. The results of Cope India ’04, the first Indo-US combat exercises held in Gwalior, were a rude awakening for the Washington establishment. Indian pilots bested their US counterparts 90 per cent of the time in mock fights. This unsavoury detail, supposedly classified, was revealed shortly after by Congressman Duke Cunningham of California in a defence subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill. The top USAF generals then decided to go public and ever since they have been talking unusually frankly about their Indian summer.

USAF chief Gen John Jumper told a Senate subcommittee in March that the results of Cope India were "very revealing". Two weeks ago, Gen Hal Hornburg, head of the air combat command, was more blunt when he told defence reporters, "We may not be as far ahead of the rest of the world as we once thought." He described Cope India as a "wake-up call". Another commander called it a "reality check" and mused about the American tendency to routinely underrate the other side while devising training procedures".


What we faced were superior numbers, and an IAF pilot who was very proficient in his aircraft and smart on tactics. That combination was tough for us to overcome," said Col Greg Neubeck, exercise director. Now the USAF is aggressively demanding the induction of F/A-22, the next generation fighter to replace the F-15C which lost to the Indian Su-30s and Mig-21 Bisons.

"We were pleasantly surprised by IAF pilots. It was certainly a validation for us that we have to ensure we keep our edge in both skill and equipment," Col Jeffrey LeVault, an operations chief in the Pacific Air Forces, told Outlook in a telephone interview from Hawaii. "We always see the need for changes in training and tactics. It was a great learning experience for our pilots," he added. The IAF came out tops in terms of both skill and equipment. India’s Su-30s had a clear advantage over the F-15C in long-range flights, and even though the US and Indian pilots were "seeing" each other at the same time on their radars, the Indian pilots were able to "fire" first, sources said. That means the Indian radars are more advanced, which came as a real shocker for the USAF. With China set to acquire the Su-30s, the Americans are clearly worried. From India’s perspective, a strong showing against the US unsettles Pakistan and China a bit and sends a fine signal.

Since the Alaska exercises are a multi-nation affair, the idea is to be able to execute and cooperate in an emergency with a mixed team. Can different military cultures and equipment work together and achieve "interoperability"? This is the first trans-Atlantic journey for the IAF aircraft, and their first foray out of South Asia. Both the US invitation as well as India’s acceptance are loaded with political and military significance. "It is part of our coming out. India is such a large military but we have been insular. The US is always looking for interaction," comments C. Raja Mohan, professor of South Asian Studies at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. "It is in our interest to engage and reach out. China is reaching out to NATO."

The Indo-US military-to-military interaction has certainly shot off like a rocket ever since India lifted its veil and offered help after the 9/11 attacks. This is the fourth time in two years the two air forces will exercise together. They have already done a pilot exchange programme, a US instructor is at the IAF training academy and air force surgeons are working together, says Col LeVault. The Alaska exercises will bring countries in the Pacific and Indian oceans closer as "we have mutual interests and concerns as democracies". Air Commodore Mukerji added that the "crux of the whole exercise is to work in partnership and create an understanding among friendly air forces". Although he insisted that a real joint operation was "a political decision", he agreed it would be easier once the pilots had flown together and dined in the same hall. In the end, the Indian military seems eager for the experience and glad the political barriers are down for it to get some fresh air.

From Jagan's post in another thread these are the serial numbers.

Jaguar IS: JS141, JS144, JS150, JS154, JS170 and JS177

IL-76MD: K2665/E and K2901

IL-78MKI: RK3451 and RK3452

JaiS
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Re: Exercise Co-operative Cope Thunder

Postby JaiS » 03 Jul 2004 18:52

Photos so far.

Photos from http://www.eielson.af.mil :[url=http://www.eielson.af.mil/library/news/04nsvs/july2004/July_16/Indian_Air_Force1.jpg]
EIELSON AFB, Alaska -- Indian Air Force members, left: Junior Warrant Officer Kumar, front right: Corporal Singha and Sergeant Chandra, attach a bomb pod to the bottom of an Indian GR-1 Jaguar Monday in preparation for Exercise Cooperative Cope Thunder 04-01. Cope Thunder, which kicked off yesterday, is a multi-nation, multi-platform coordinated, combat operations exercise that allows allied forces to work together and become familiar with the other country’s combat tactics and capabilities.[/url]

Photos taken by victorzv2 ( A Russian in Canada ) :
http://forums.airbase.ru/index.php?act=Attach&type=post&id=6304
http://forums.airbase.ru/index.php?act=Attach&type=post&id=6305
http://forums.airbase.ru/index.php?act=Attach&type=post&id=6306
http://forums.airbase.ru/index.php?act=Attach&type=post&id=6307
http://forums.airbase.ru/index.php?act=Attach&type=post&id=6309

Photos from www.af.mil :
EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska -- Airman 1st Class Trevor Smith fuels a GR-1 Jaguar from the Indian air force. He is assigned to the base's 354th Logistics Readiness Squadron. The Indian air force is just one group participating in Cooperative Cope Thunder 04-01 which begins July 15. Cooperative Cope Thunder is a combat-operations exercise involving aircraft from several services and nations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joshua Strang)

EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska -- Indian air force Junior Warrant Officer Kumar attaches a bomb pod to the bottom of a GR-1 Jaguar here July 12.

Photos taken by Richard Barsby :

http://www.airliners.net/open.file/623933/L/
http://www.airliners.net/open.file/623931/L/
http://www.airliners.net/open.file/623932/L/
http://www.airliners.net/open.file/616481/L/
http://www.airliners.net/open.file/623602/L/
http://www.airliners.net/open.file/623601/L/
http://www.airliners.net/open.file/623600/L/
http://www.airliners.net/open.file/623599/L/
http://www.airliners.net/open.file/618592/L/

Photos taken by Jorge Manuel Antão Ruivo :

http://www.airliners.net/open.file/621625/L/
http://www.airliners.net/open.file/621501/L/
http://www.airliners.net/open.file/621500/L/
http://www.airliners.net/open.file/617871/L/
http://www.airliners.net/open.file/617837/L/
http://www.airliners.net/open.file/616478/L/
http://www.airliners.net/open.file/616481/L/

Credit for these photos goes to Sean Bratton :

http://www.aircraftresourcecenter.com/forums/uploads/post-15-1089207507.jpg
http://www.aircraftresourcecenter.com/forums/uploads/post-15-1089207664.jpg
http://www.aircraftresourcecenter.com/forums/uploads/post-15-1089208002.jpg
http://www.aircraftresourcecenter.com/forums/uploads/post-15-1089208093.jpg
http://www.aircraftresourcecenter.com/forums/uploads/post-15-1089208217.jpg http://www.aircraftresourcecenter.com/forums/uploads/post-15-1089208400.jpg

Credit for finding these photos goes to Jagan :

http://www.baytoday.ca/uploads/content/indianairforce1.jpg http://www.baytoday.ca/uploads/content/indianairforce2.jpg
http://www.baytoday.ca/uploads/content/indianairforce3.jpg

Credit for posting these photos goes to "Portugal" :

Pic 1
Pic 2
Pic 3
Pic 4

For these photos the credit goes to Vishnu Som :

www.bharat-rakshak.com/Temp/test1.jpg
www.bharat-rakshak.com/Temp/test2.jpg
www.bharat-rakshak.com/Temp/test3.jpg
www.bharat-rakshak.com/Temp/test4.jpg
www.bharat-rakshak.com/Temp/test5.jpg
www.bharat-rakshak.com/Temp/test6.jpg
www.bharat-rakshak.com/Temp/test7.jpg
www.bharat-rakshak.com/Temp/test8.jpg
www.bharat-rakshak.com/Temp/test10.jpg
www.bharat-rakshak.com/Temp/test12.jpg
www.bharat-rakshak.com/Temp/test13.jpg
http://forum.airforces.info/attachment.php?attachmentid=29410&stc=1
http://forum.airforces.info/attachment.php?attachmentid=29412&stc=1

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Re: Exercise Co-operative Cope Thunder

Postby JaiS » 03 Jul 2004 19:07

A brief "historical" about Co-operative Cope Thunder.

Eielson AFB - Fact Sheet


The 353rd Combat Training Squadron is responsible for sponsoring training and experimentation in Alaska. The squadron is assigned to 11th Air Force, headquartered at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska; however, the 353 CTS is located and operates at Eielson AFB, Alaska.

The 353 CTS hosts Pacific Air Forces’ Cope Thunder, Alaska Command’s Northern Edge, and Pacific Command’s Cooperative Cope Thunder exercises. Cope Thunder is an Air Expeditionary Force major force certification event. The 353 CTS manages the Pacific-Alaska Range Complex. The PARC contains 3 impact areas covering 90,000 acres and about 68,000 square miles of military training airspace, the nation’s largest training range.

Each Cope Thunder exercise is a realistic, 10-day, air combat training exercise held up to four times a year. The multi-service, multi-platform coordinated, combat operations exercises specialize in the joint integration of USAF Air Expeditionary Forces (AEF) with the United States Navy, Marine Corps, and Army combat forces. One exercise each year focuses on coalition building with USAF forces integrating with allied units from throughout the world. Each exercise features “Red” opposition forces (OPFOR), “Blue” offensive forces, and “White” forces that represent the neutral controlling agency.

The opposition force includes air-to-air fighters and surface-to-air missile defense forces to simulate threats posed by potentially hostile nations. These forces generally employ defensive counter-air tactics directed by ground-control intercept sites. Range threat emitters — electronic devices that send out signals simulating anti-aircraft artillery and surface-to-air missile launches — provide valuable surface-to-air training and are operated by a civilian contractor as directed by 353 CTS technicians.

The offensive force includes the full spectrum of U.S. and allied tactical and support units. Because the defensive and offensive forces meet in a simulated hostile, non-cooperative training environment, the job of controlling the mock war and ensuring safety falls to the “White” neutral force.


History

A Pacific Air Forces-sponsored exercise, Cope Thunder was moved to Eielson from Clark Air Base in the Philippines in 1992, when the eruption of Mount Pinatubo forced the curtailment of operations there. When the decision was made to relocate Cope Thunder, Air Force officials viewed Eielson as the most logical choice. That decision was based partly on the fact that Eielson’s 353 CTS already controlled and maintained three major military flight training ranges in Alaska.

Initiated in 1976, Cope Thunder was devised as a way to give aircrews their first taste of warfare and quickly grew into PACAF’s premier simulated combat airpower employment exercise. Before Operation Desert Storm, less than one-fifth of the U.S. Air Force’s primary fighter pilots had seen actual combat. While the percentage of combat-experienced pilots has increased in recent years, a high percentage of pilots haven’t been thrust into combat. Analysis indicates most combat losses occur during an aircrew’s first eight to 10 missions. The goal of Cope Thunder is to provide each aircrew with these first vital “missions,” increasing their chances of survival in real combat environments. On an average, more than 900 people and up to 60 aircraft deploy to Eielson AFB, and an additional 250 people and 20 aircraft deploy to Elmendorf AFB, for each Cope Thunder exercise. Most participating Cope Thunder units arrive a week before the exercise. During that time, aircrews may fly one or two range orientation flights, make physical and mental preparations, hone up on local flying restrictions, receive local safety and survival briefings, and work on developing orientation plans.

During the two-week employment phase of the exercise, aircrews are subjected to every conceivable combat threat. Scenarios are shaped to meet AEF mission essential training objectives. At the height of the exercise, up to 70 jet fighters can be operating in the same airspace at one time. Typically, Cope Thunder conducts two combat missions each day. Since its inception, thousands of U.S. military members from all branches of the military, as well as the armed services of the Philippines, Canada, United Kingdom, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, France, Spain, Thailand, Singapore, South Korea and India have taken part in Cope Thunder exercises. Aircraft involved include the F-15, F-16, F/A-18, EA-6B, A/OA-10, C-130, KC-130, KC-135, KC-10, E-3C, HC-130, various helicopters and British Tornadoes, Jaguars, Nimrods, VC-10, IL-76 as well as U.S. Army, Marine Corps and Japanese Air Self Defense Force Stinger Teams.


The 353rd Combat Training Squadron organizes, plans and executes realistic combat training at Eielson, including Cope Thunder. All the activities on Alaska’s three weapons training ranges – incorporating more than 68,000 square miles of airspace, 28 threat systems, and 225 targets for range and exercise operations – are planned and controlled by 353rd CTS personnel. The three tactical ranges supervised by the squadron’s range division are Blair Lakes, Yukon and Oklahoma. The Blair Lakes Conventional Range is located about 26 miles southwest of Eielson AFB. Isolated in a sub-arctic tundra environment, this range is manned continuously and is normally accessible only by helicopter. The Yukon Tactical and Electronic Warfare Range is 15 miles east of Eielson. Accessible most of the year, this mountainous complex is only manned as necessary to provide electronic warfare training. The Oklahoma Tactical Range is located within the U.S. Army's Cold Region Test Center at Fort Greely, Alaska, and is the largest of the three ranges, encompassing more than 900,000 acres of relatively flat, open terrain. Cope Thunder exercises take place over Alaskan and Canadian airspace. The airspace – 17 permanent military operations areas and high-altitude training areas, plus two restricted areas – total more than 68,000 square miles.

Cope Thunder’s economic impact on the communities surrounding Eielson and Elmendorf AFBs have been large and should continue to be so. In 2001 alone, military members taking part in the exercises poured more than $2 million into the local economies. Eielson AFB building projects resulting all or in part from Cope Thunder include a $23 million transient personnel facility, a $13 million Cope Thunder operations building, a $35 million air-to-air tracking system; eight two-bay all-weather aircraft shelters valued at $25 million, and a $2 million range microwave link. Additionally, the number of threat emitters on Cope Thunder ranges was doubled from 14 to 28 and several of the communication systems between ranges and Eielson have been upgraded.

TESTIMONY OF ADMIRAL THOMAS B. FARGO - UNITED STATES NAVY COMMANDER - U.S. PACIFIC COMMAND


BEFORE THE
HOUSE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE
UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

REGARDING U.S. PACIFIC COMMAND POSTURE

March 31, 2004


EXERCISES. Exercise events provide essential opportunities to hone a spectrum of security skills in multilateral settings, and are a key component of both our Joint Training Plan and Theater Security Cooperation plan.

Exercises such as Cooperative COPE THUNDER provide an opportunity for engagement in the Pacific Alaska Range Complex (PARC), a facility more than five times the size of the RED FLAG range in Nevada. This year’s COPE THUNDER participants included: Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, Germany, India, Japan, Malaysia, Mongolia, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and the United Kingdom.

India. Our military-to-military program with India leads the larger bilateral relationship and is already providing security benefits in South and Southeast Asia. In the past year, mutual understanding has improved, exercise complexity has increased, and interest in foreign military sales has risen dramatically.

All USPACOM components have conducted a number of successful training events with the Indian military, including the first ever exercise between U.S. front line fighter jets and Su-30K FLANKERs. These events contribute to the combat effectiveness of U.S. forces.

We have developed a long-range plan outlining mutually beneficial activities that build upon this momentum. These programs are designed to increase our proficiency and interoperability with Indian forces while addressing shared interests like maritime security. Our military cooperation directly contributes to the expansion of our strategic partnership with India.


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Re: Exercise Co-operative Cope Thunder

Postby JaiS » 03 Jul 2004 19:21

A few news items from Exercise Cooperative Cope Thunder 2003.

Cooperative Thunder starts


June 6, 2003

EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska -- Members of the Indian air force and IL-76 aircraft arrived Wednesday night to participate in Cooperative Cope Thunder for the first time in the exercise’s 27-year history.

“We are honored to be here and to be taking part in Cooperative Cope Thunder,” said Group Captain S.R.K. Nair, Indian air force detachment commander. “We are looking forward to the training and interacting with all the countries participating.”

The Iceman Team welcomes more than 1,000 servicemembers from across the globe to Cooperative Cope Thunder every summer and this year is no exception. Servicemembers from the United States, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Thailand, Singapore, India and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization are honing their combat skills in the largest multilateral air combat training exercise in the Pacific Thursday-June 20 here and at Elmendorf AFB.

“Cooperative Cope Thunder is a realistic, 10-day air combat training exercise. Pilots fly air-to-air and air-to-ground combat, as well as combat support training missions,” said Lt. Col. Curtis Viall, 353rd Combat Training Squadron commander. “This exercise gives us the opportunity to sharpen our air combat skills, air operations tactics, and strengthen our relationships with allied units from throughout the world.”

“More than 1,675 people and 62 aircraft are part of Cooperative Cope Thunder this year,” said Maj. Gene Scarboro, this year’s Cooperative Cope Thunder project officer. “Eielson is hosting about 650 people and 33 aircraft from Misawa AFB in Japan, Singapore, Korea, India and Japan.”

This year’s Cooperative Cope Thunder also marks the first Japanese Air Self Defense Force deployment of fighter aircraft to an exercise in North America.

Cooperative Cope T


June 13, 2003

EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska -- Cooperative Cope Thunder, the largest multilateral air combat training exercise in Pacific Air Forces is underway here and at Elmendorf AFB through June 20.

“When Cope Thunder started in the 1970s, the exercise was developed to give fighter pilots their first realistic taste of warfare,” said Lt. Col. Curtis Viall, 353rd Combat Training Squadron commander.

“Today, Cooperative Cope Thunder — PACAF’s premier engagement exercise, is a totally integrated exercise involving forces and aircraft of all types and missions including fighters, airlift, command and control, tankers, and ground forces such as the special tactics teams,” Viall said. “As a team, the U.S. and invited foreign participants devise and execute a plan to defeat the ground and air forces of a simulated enemy on the Alaska ranges.”

Alaska’s training ranges include more than 66,000 square miles of airspace, 28 threat systems, and 235 targets for range and exercise operations.

According to visiting forces, training on Alaska’s ranges during Cooperative Cope Thunder is a unique and invaluable experience.

“Training with so many air forces is something new to the Indian air force,” said Group Captain S.R.K. Nair, Indian air force detachment commander. “We have very extensive training in our IL-76 in India, but training here on one of the best ranges in the Asian-Pacific region gives us the opportunity to train in bigger ranges with different threat emitters and different ground threats than what we’re used to.”

“We are successfully flying low-level sorties, dropping supplies over the various drop zones under air-to-air, ground-to-air and missile threats,” said Nair, commander of the 30-member deployed Indian detachment.

Flying the C-130 at Cooperative Cope Thunder is the job of the Republic of Korea air force, said Col. Lee Yeong-man, the commander of the deployed 31-member ROK air force detachment.

“Our mission in Cooperative Cope Thunder is to provide airlift for personnel and cargo,” Lee said. “Taking part in this exercise is a great opportunity for the ROK air force to improve our airlift capability for real warfare.”

While the exercise is focusing on flying, it also provides phenomenal training for other participants, such as intelligence experts, maintenance crews, command and control elements and others, said Maj. Gene Scarboro, this year’s 353rd Combat Training Squadron Cooperative Cope Thunder project officer.

“By providing generic, unclassified scenarios using common worldwide threats, and simulated combat conditions, Cooperative Cope Thunder gives everyone an opportunity to make the tough calls combat often requires of us,” said Scarboro.

One non-flying team that has found this training useful is the Japanese Stinger Team.

“Cooperative Cope Thunder is a great opportunity to get realistic training with a wide variety of aircraft,” said Maj. Ryuji Kanetada, commander of the deployed 18-member Japanese Stinger Team.

“We don’t have this type of opportunity or space in Japan. Here we are able to spread out our team in the large ranges, allowing us to do more realistic training, so that’s why after seven years we keep coming back.”

The stinger team deploys to the field every day to set up air defense locations to engage ‘enemy’aircraft and to defend sites on the ground with their missiles, according to Kanetada.

The Japanese commander added that while they are getting superb training on the ground, they are also providing realistic training to the pilots above them.

“With us on the ground, pilots get to see a realistic ground threat because when we go out there we engage them with our normal tactics, so pilots get a realistic threat they have to respond to,” said Kanetada.


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Re: Exercise Co-operative Cope Thunder

Postby JaiS » 03 Jul 2004 19:25

Cooperative Cope Thunder 2004.

Cooperative Thunder planning

<img src="http://www.eielson.af.mil/library/news/04nsvs/feb2004/Feb_13/copet.jpg" alt="" />


Feb. 13, 2004

EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska --Representatives from seven countries visited Eielson this week to attend a planning conference for the July 15-30 Cooperative Cope Thunder exercise. More than 1,200 U.S. and foreign military members will participate in this year’s exercise. Countries sending major contingents include the United Kingdom , Germany , Singapore , Japan and India .

Eielson AFB - News Service

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Re: Exercise Co-operative Cope Thunder

Postby JaiS » 03 Jul 2004 19:32

6 IAF Jaguars to take part in 'Cope Thunder 2004'


June 15, 2004

Six Indian Air Force Jaguar deep-penetration strike aircraft will fly to the United States to take part in multi-national exercises in Alaska later this month.

The Jaguars, taking part in exercise 'Cope Thunder 2004', will cross the Atlantic helped by mid-air refuelling by the IAF's just acquired IL-78 giant tankers.

The aircraft will take off from Jamnagar in Gujarat on June 23 and make it to Alaska via brief halts in Qatar, Egypt, Portugal, New Foundland and Canada in 180 hours.

Two IL-76 transport aircraft carrying ground crew and spares would also form the IAF team for the multi-national exercises, IAF sources said.

The six Jaguars were part of the fleet which had recently been grounded by the IAF and were only cleared after undergoing technical checkups by a team of experts from the British Aerospace.

IAF's new air-to-air refuellers, IL-78, would be taking part in the exercises outside India for the first time. India has already received four of the six refuellers from Uzbekistan and these tankers till date have had 650 hours and close to 1,000 engagements with fighter aircraft, including Jaguars, Mirage 2000 and SU-30MKI.

IAF contingent to match skills with counterparts


June 21, 2004

An Indian Air Force contingent took off from the Ambala Air Force Station on Monday morning for the US to participate in Cooperative Cope Thunder, an exercise in Alaska with their counterparts from other countries.

Cooperative Cope Thunder is a realistic, air combat training exercise lasting over a few days. The skills of various contingents are often varied, depending on the goals that they pursue. Hence, participanting nations get to deal with different working styles.

The IAF is participating for the first time in this exercise, which will see them matching skills with about 40 pilots from USA, Canada, UK, Germany, Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka.

The IAF contingent comprising six Jaguar, one IL-76 and two IL-78 flight refueling aircraft was flagged off at a glittering function, which was attended by a number of IAF personnel including Air Chief Marshal K Krishnaswamy and Air Officer Commanding in-chief (Western Air Command) Air Marshal S P Tyagi.

Addressing the gathering, Krishnaswamy advised the participating pilots to fully exploit the opportunity to improve their skills.

Group Captain (GC) S J Nenodkar is leading the Jaguar fleet while GC Shouvik Roy is in charge if the IL-78s and GC Mohanti the IL-76 aircraft.

The contingent is expected to return to India on August 6.

IAF pilots to attend training exercise in Alaska


Ambala, June 21
The Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal S. Krishnaswamy, today reposed faith in the ability of the IAF pilots who are going to participate in Exercise Cooperative Cope Thunder-04 to be held at Alaska, USA.

It is for the first time that IAF fighter aircraft will be participating in an international exercise outside the Indian subcontinent.

The IAF contingent, comprising six Jaguars, one IL-76 and two IL-78 flight refuelling aircraft, took off from Air Force Station Ambala Cantonment this morning. Air-Officer-Commanding in Chief, Western Air Command, Air Marshal S. P. Tyagi and other senior officers were present.

Air Chief Marshal S. Krishnaswamy addressed the IAF personnel participating in the international exercise and expressed his confidence in the ability of the pilots. “Since this is the first occasion of the IAF participating in an international exercise of such a large magnitude away from the country, I advise the personnel to fully exploit the learning opportunity, validate our concepts and operational philosophy,” he said.

Air Marshal S. P. Tyagi, AOC-in-C, Western Air Command, flagged off the IAF contingent at a ceremony held at Air Force Station Ambala. He advised the pilots to utilise the opportunity to improve their skills.

Air Commodore L.K. Malhotra, Air Officer Commanding, Air Force Station Ambala, is the chief coordinator for the preparation of the Air Force contingent, ensuring operational training of the team for the exercise, maintenance and logistics back-up support. He said the pilots would gain invaluable experience during the deployment.

The IAF is participating in the multi-national exercise from July 15 to July 30 at Alaska. This is an annual exercise where friendly nations train together in a near realistic scenario.

The decision to participate in the exercise was taken during the eighth executive steering group meeting and was ratified by the Defence Policy Group in August 2003. The other countries participating in the exercise are the USA, Canada, UK, Germany, Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, Mongolia and Sri Lanka.

The IAF’s earlier participation in Cope Thunder Exercise was limited to sending observers in 2001 and 2002 and thererafter one IL-76 aircraft participated in 2003.

The IAF contingent, which took off from Ambala today, will leave the country from Jamnagar on June 23. The aircraft are going to be ferried to Eielson Air Force base at Alaska through Middle East, North Africa, Mediterranean, Europe and Canada. The contingent will be transiting through four continents and the total distance covered will be 19,000 km. The IAF contingent is expected to return on August 16.

Indian air force heads across globe to take part in Alaska war games


Indian fighter jets and transport aircraft flew to the U.S. state of Alaska on Wednesday for multinational military exercises _ the Indian air force's first war games outside of the subcontinent, a military spokesman said.

The exercises, which also involve Britain, Germany, France, Japan, Canada, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Mongolia, come as India and the United States shake off Cold War-era suspicions and develop closer military ties.

The Indian air squadron _ comprising six Jaguars, two Russian-made IL-76 transport aircraft and two IL-78 planes that can refuel in midair _ flew from the Jamnagar base in western Gujarat state Wednesday for Alaska, with 200 personnel on board.

"They will have air combat maneuvers, air-to-air refueling and protection of high-value aerial assets," air force spokesman, Squadron Leader Mahesh Upasni, told The Associated Press. "This exercise holds a lot of training value."

The cooperation is part of a dramatic transformation in political and military relations in recent years between India and the United States.

India was close to the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Relations with America dipped further in 1998 when Washington imposed economic sanctions against India after it conducted nuclear tests.

However, ties between the two nations have warmed considerably in recent years. Their armies and navies have also held joint exercises in recent years.

"This is the first time that the Indian air force is traveling out of the subcontinent for exercises," Upasni said. The crew cannot fly for more than four hours and will make stops in Qatar, Egypt, Italy and Canada during the 19,700-kilometer (12,200-mile) round trip.

The exercises, which take place annually, are being held at Eielson Air Base in Alaska from July 15-30, Upasni said.

In February, 130 U.S. airmen and fighter planes participated in joint exercises in the central Indian city of Gwalior. It was the first such joint operation in more than 40 years.


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Re: Exercise Co-operative Cope Thunder

Postby JaiS » 03 Jul 2004 19:36


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Re: Exercise Co-operative Cope Thunder

Postby Kartik » 03 Jul 2004 22:31

<img src="http://www.eielson.af.mil/library/news/04nsvs/feb2004/Feb_13/copet.jpg" alt="" />

is that an IAF pilot in the gray-green flightsuit ? the pilots wings sure do look like those of the IAF.

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Re: Exercise Co-operative Cope Thunder

Postby Kartik » 05 Jul 2004 08:52

In that respect, what I've never understood is why every squadron seems to have its own color of flying suits. Can anyone explain that ?

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Re: Exercise Co-operative Cope Thunder

Postby Khalsa » 05 Jul 2004 08:56

you mean squadrons of different air forces?

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Re: Exercise Co-operative Cope Thunder

Postby Kartik » 05 Jul 2004 09:00

nope, I mean our own air force squadrons have flight suits that vary in color and it stumps me as to why.

Guest

Re: Exercise Co-operative Cope Thunder

Postby Guest » 05 Jul 2004 16:20

Different colour flightsuits donate different aircraft types rather than squadron allegiance in the IAF.

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Re: Exercise Co-operative Cope Thunder

Postby JaiS » 05 Jul 2004 19:20

Welcome, Mr. Patchwallah. :)

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Re: Exercise Co-operative Cope Thunder

Postby Vishnu » 06 Jul 2004 21:11

The IAF pilots participating in the Alaska exercises switched to olive (slightly darkish) green flight overalls in preference to their standard blue ones because of the temperature/climatic conditions in Alaska. The olive green flight suits are slightly thicker ... ie warmer. I should add though ... that they look pretty dreadful compared to the standard blue ones ... Anyway, you win some and lose some ... Hope we win the exercises.

By the way, the only reason our fly boys travelled the Atlantic route was because of weather which at this time of year is better flying cross-Atlantic.

Cheers
Vishnu

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Re: Exercise Co-operative Cope Thunder

Postby daulat » 06 Jul 2004 22:13

i am guessing that alternate routes would be

hyderabad --> singapore(?) --> surabaya (landing rights?) --> (many storms) --> manila --> taipei (bad bad bad and big detour around China) --> seoul/tokyo (more storms) --> vladivostock --> elmendorf

quite possibly a longer detour compared to the European route, and plenty of ops for PLAAF to take a look see?

then there is the great circle route over china... ERRR!! (loud klaxon noise)

then there is the central asian route... ERRR!! TSP overfly alert!! TSP overfly alert!!

oh well, European route it is then...

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Re: Exercise Co-operative Cope Thunder

Postby Rudra » 06 Jul 2004 22:20

posted by Steve Touchdown at AFM.
================================

FYI: passing-on an e-mail that was forwarded to me today originating from Canada

Quote:
I spent a very rewarding day with the Indian Air Force yesterday helping service their aircraft. Two IL-76s, two IL-78s, and and six Jaguars arrived over a three hour period.

The North American route was as follows:

Gander -- North Bay
North Bay -- Edmonton International
Edmonton International -- Elemendorf AFB, Anchorage, Alaska

They will be returning via a reciprical route. The aircraft are expected back in North Bay around the 4th or 5th of August and will remain here for two days. That means it's possible that some of you folks in southern Ontario could easily make a jaunt up here to take pix of the aircraft. It is interesting to note that the IL-76s and IL-78s do not generally carry their pair of 23 mm cannons outside domestic airspace (expect for Kashmir). Even so, the gunners still came with the rest of the crew. They also have radio operators whose aircrew badge has the letter 'S' on it' This stands for 'Signaller'. The Jags will be only doing simulated ground attacks as well. During an engine run-up late yesterday afternoon, one of the Jags blew an engine.

The IL-76MD is known as the 'Gajraj, which is Hindi for 'White Elephant', The aircraft that arrived here were painted overall in a semi-gloss grey paint scheme. The IL-78 MKI 'Midas' is also painted in the same scheme.

Someone wanted the serial numbers:

IL-76MD 'Gajraj' - K2665 'E'
IL-76MD 'Gajraj' - K2901 'Z'
These aircraft are from No. 25 'Himalayan Eagles' Transport Squadron
They are based at 12 Wing, Chandigarh Air Force Station.

IL-78 MKI 'Midas' - RK3451
IL-78 MKI 'Midas' - RK3432
There are only two of this type in service with the I.A.F. and they belong to aircraft are No. 78 'Battle Cry' Squadron.

Jaguar IS - JS141
Jaguar IS - JS144
Jaguar IS - JS150
Jaguar IS - JS154
Jaguar IS - JS170
Jaguar IS - JS177

Ground attack variant of the Jaguar in Indian Air Force service.

The six Jags were from:
No. 5 'Tuskers' (F) Squadron, 7 Wing, Air Force Station Ambala
No. 14 'Bulls' (F) Squadron, 7 Wing, Air Force Station Ambala
No. 16 'Black Cobras' (F) Squadron, 17 Wing, Air Force Station Gorakhpur
No. 27 'Flaming Arrows' (F) Squadron, 17 Wing. Air Force Station Gorakhpur

All E&OE.

Posted by Chris Charland via Jeff Rankin-Lowe.

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Re: Exercise Co-operative Cope Thunder

Postby abhejit » 07 Jul 2004 01:07

Article in Outlook

Cope Thunder '04 from July 15

Participation for fighters in this exercise "would help us validate our concepts and operational philosophy," said the embassy press release. "It would also provide a good opportunity for professional interaction with the other Air Forces."

The decision to participate in the exercise was taken during the 8Th Executive Steering Group meeting and was ratified by the Defence Policy Group in August 2003.

The countries participating in the exercise are USA, India, Canada, UK, Germany, Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, Mongolia and Sri Lanka. The IAF's earlier participation in Cope Thunder exercise was limited to sending observers in 2001 and 2002 and thereafter one IL-76 aircraft participated in 2003.

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Re: Exercise Co-operative Cope Thunder

Postby Kartik » 07 Jul 2004 01:40

What're Mongolia and Sri Lanka doing in this exercise ? SriLankan AF operates a mix of Mig-23, MiG-27, Kfir and J-7 fighters and most of the MiGs are'nt even flown by Sri Lankan pilots. are they going to be part of the fighter exercises or in some other way ?

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Re: Exercise Co-operative Cope Thunder

Postby JTull » 07 Jul 2004 12:32

I guess Mongolia and Sri Lanka will be as observers from friendly countries.

This trip by IAF is only became possible after we acquired the Midas tankers. This shows how strategic acquisions help the world recongnise even your basic capabilities.

India should now think about organizing multilateral exercises in India with participation from France, Singapore, US, UK, Japan, etc.

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Re: Exercise Co-operative Cope Thunder

Postby Vishnu » 07 Jul 2004 12:57

Mongolia is participating with a SAM unit ...read ... shoulder fired SAMS ... They had initially requested the IAF if they could fly down their stuff to India so that we could cart it to Alaska for them ... Then it seems that an American jet in the region picked it up for them. Sri Lanka possibly (and I would stand corrected in this) has fighter controllers participating.

The IAF were worried about the Jags from the onset ... obviously technical issues are a major concern ... but they have gone in prepared ... 2 spare Jag engines are with them ... and there is an IL in Delhi on hot standby to ferry in any additional equipment ... The IAF has also tied up with Fed Ex to cart some equipment across if the need arises.

Cheers
Vishnu

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Re: Exercise Co-operative Cope Thunder

Postby JaiS » 07 Jul 2004 13:01

Indian Air Force to join air exercise in Alaska


Fighter jets of the Indian Air Force (IAF) will join a multilateral exercise in Alaska, marking the first time the force has participated in a war-game outside Indian territory.

The exercise, "Cooperative Cope thunder-04-01" to be held during July 15-30, is an annual manoeuvre where friendly nations train together in a near realistic scenario.

The decision to participate in the exercise was taken during a meeting of the India-US executive steering group and ratified by the India-US Defence Policy Group, the highest body guiding military ties between the two sides, in August 2003.

Other countries participating in the exercise are the US, Canada, Britain, Germany, Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, Mongolia and Sri Lanka.

The IAF's earlier participation in Cope Thunder exercises was limited to sending observers in 2001 and 2002 and one Il-76 transport aircraft in 2003.

"Participation of fighters is this exercise would help us validate our concepts and operational philosophy. It would also provide a good opportunity for professional interaction with the other air forces," said a statement issued by the Indian embassy here Tuesday.

The IAF contingent comprises 200 personnel, six Jaguar deep penetration jets, two Il-76 transport aircraft and two Il-78 flight refuelling aircraft.

This is the first time that the IAF's newly acquired flight refuelling aircraft would be employed in international airspace for overseas deployment along with fighter aircraft.

This capability has been achieved within a year of the induction of the tankers in the IAF, the statement said. The induction of the tankers has added a new dimension to the IAF's capabilities, it said.

The IAF aircraft took off from the Jamnagar airbase in Gujarat in June and they will fly to Eielson air force base at Alaska via the Middle East, north Africa, the Mediterranean, Europe and Canada.

The aircraft will transit through four continents and the total distance covered would be 19,000 km.

The IAF contingent is expected to return to India on Aug 16.



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Re: Exercise Co-operative Cope Thunder

Postby NRao » 07 Jul 2004 18:03



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Re: Exercise Co-operative Cope Thunder

Postby abhishek » 07 Jul 2004 22:18

Post in Airfoce resource center by Sean Bratton
Harry - I did a quick search at Hannants for Indian AF Jaguars and came up with......nothing. You can get Sea Harriers, Mirage 2000's, Migs and Flunkers, but no Jags. We get RAF Jags up in this area quite often and one thing that struck me about IAF machines was the lack of survivability "add ons" - the RAF always carries PHIMAT, an ECM pod, overwing AAM rails, numerous scabbed on chaff/flare bits and a spare kitchen sink. The IAF birds looked quite light in comparison.
Can someone clarify this?

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Re: Exercise Co-operative Cope Thunder

Postby Anurag » 07 Jul 2004 22:31

They're not carrying Armament. But you have two IL-76's as well. You never know what they could be carrying other than airmen!

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Re: Exercise Co-operative Cope Thunder

Postby Khalsa » 08 Jul 2004 01:37

Aircraft when in transition do not carry external ECM ewquipment. You have to attatch em... connect them, more drag on a/c space better used by fuel tanks etc.

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Re: Exercise Co-operative Cope Thunder

Postby Rakesh » 08 Jul 2004 03:03

To add to what Khalsa and Anurag said, the IAF only carries what it needs. This IAF air group is not heading into a 'real' war zone and thus does not need ECM pods, chaff and/or flare systems, etc. However they can be fitted with flares & chaff if required. The IAF's No.25 Sqn page lists the following gem of info:

1990: Firing IR Flares at Pokhran Range ~ Two IL-76 were modified and their objective was to test the systems effectiveness to divert fire power of heat seeking missiles, shoulder fired guns, and also jamming of radar by dispensing chaff around the aircraft.

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Re: Exercise Co-operative Cope Thunder

Postby Harsh » 08 Jul 2004 05:38

I wonder why all us jingoes still sit around
and :D )

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Re: Exercise Co-operative Cope Thunder

Postby Roop » 08 Jul 2004 06:41

(edit- attempting to format post GD-styleee :D )
arre nakko baba! You can't do that, guruji has a patent on that narrow-format technology. I may have to send Jumrao The Enforcer after you. :cool:

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Re: Exercise Co-operative Cope Thunder

Postby Tijo » 13 Jul 2004 03:20

Any update on this?

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Re: Exercise Co-operative Cope Thunder

Postby Aditya G » 14 Jul 2004 14:58

JS-170 on ramp

http://www.af.mil/media/photodb/photos/040712-F-3488S-004.jpg
[inserted by admin] Caption:
EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska -- Airman 1st Class Trevor Smith fuels a GR-1 Jaguar from the Indian air force. He is assigned to the base's 354th Logistics Readiness Squadron. The Indian air force is just one group participating in Cooperative Cope Thunder 04-01 which begins July 15. Cooperative Cope Thunder is a combat-operations exercise involving aircraft from several services and nations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joshua Strang)

http://www.af.mil/media/photodb/photos/040712-F-3488S-013.jpg
EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska -- Indian air force Junior Warrant Officer Kumar attaches a bomb pod to the bottom of a GR-1 Jaguar here July 12.

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Re: Exercise Co-operative Cope Thunder

Postby Harry » 14 Jul 2004 20:26

Originally posted by abhishek:
Post in Airfoce resource center by Sean Bratton
Harry - I did a quick search at Hannants for Indian AF Jaguars and came up with......nothing. You can get Sea Harriers, Mirage 2000's, Migs and Flunkers, but no Jags. We get RAF Jags up in this area quite often and [b]one thing that struck me about IAF machines was the lack of survivability "add ons" - the RAF always carries PHIMAT, an ECM pod, overwing AAM rails, numerous scabbed on chaff/flare bits and a spare kitchen sink. The IAF birds looked quite light in comparison.
Can someone clarify this?[/b]
The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence. They do carry the Phimat, ECM etc, (but not the conformal CM launchers as on French Jags)

The Jaguars which were initially trialled with the overwing rails, were Indian ones.

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Re: Exercise Co-operative Cope Thunder

Postby abhishek » 16 Jul 2004 03:36

Not finding anything new on this thread so...some random schedule info.... :confused:

COPE THUNDER Exercise Schedule

COPE THUNDER Exercise Schedule
NORTHERN EDGE 04
7-16 June
(Familiarization Flight Days) Activity times: TBD
Jun: Major Flying Exercise days (exclude weekend) Activity times: TBD
Expect increased military air traffic in all Alaskan Interior airspace at all altitudes during airspace windows. Expect especially concentrated low-level operations in Yukon 1,2,3, Eielson, Delta, Buffalo, Birch, R2202 and 2205.
For more information or for in-flight updates to military operations, contact Eielson Range Control on 229.4/125.3 or call the Joint Scheduling Office (Eielson) at 377-3005.

COPE THUNDER 04-1(Cooperative, multi-nation)
15 - 30 July
15 - 16 Jul (Familiarization Flight Days) Activity times: TBD
19 - 30 Jul: Major Flying Exercise days (exclude weekend) Activity times: TBD

Expect increased military air traffic in all CT airspace at all altitudes during airspace windows. Expect especially concentrated low-level operations in Yukon 1,2,3, Eielson, Delta, Buffalo, Birch, R2202 and 2205.
For more information or for in-flight updates to military operations, contact Eielson Range Control on 229.4/125.3 or call the Joint Scheduling Office (Eielson) at 377-3005.

COPE THUNDER 04-2
12 - 27 August
12 - 13 Aug (Familiarization Flight Days) Activity times: TBD
16 - 27 Aug: Major Flying Exercise days (exclude weekend) Activity times: TBD

Expect increased military air traffic in all CT airspace at all altitudes during airspace windows. Expect especially concentrated low-level operations in Yukon 1,2,3, Eielson, Delta, Buffalo, Birch, R2202 and 2205.
For more information or for in-flight updates to military operations, contact Eielson Range Control on 229.4/125.3 or call the Joint Scheduling Office (Eielson) at 377-3005.


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Re: Exercise Co-operative Cope Thunder

Postby Khalsa » 16 Jul 2004 03:48

Question:

In the photo, where the Jag is being refuelled. The Ribon hanging off the right engine inlet. Its touching something maroonish in colour.

What is that?

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Re: Exercise Co-operative Cope Thunder

Postby Kartik » 16 Jul 2004 04:23

seems to be some kind of cover for the gun-port.

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Re: Exercise Co-operative Cope Thunder

Postby Raman » 16 Jul 2004 04:26

The maroon thingie is the cover for the cannon.

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Re: Exercise Co-operative Cope Thunder

Postby Khalsa » 16 Jul 2004 04:39

Thanks

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Re: Exercise Co-operative Cope Thunder

Postby JaiS » 16 Jul 2004 13:53

Cope Thunder to help pilots hone war skills


Officials plan to launch Cooperative Cope Thunder this week, the Air Force’s largest multilateral air-combat exercise in the Pacific.

The annual drill, which was to begin Thursday and will run through July 30, is being staged at Eielson and Elmendorf Air Force bases in Alaska.

Singapore, Germany, the United Kingdom, Mongolia, Canada, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Australia are among the nations signed up to take part this year.

The Japan Air Self-Defense Force, also headed to the exercise, is deploying F-15s to the United States for just the second time, said Maj. Eric Hilliard, a 5th Air Force spokesman. The Indian air force is sending its fighter aircraft to American soil for the first time, he added. That country is set to operate out of Eielson.

About 210 servicemembers from Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, are taking part in the Alaska drill, said Maj. Brenda Campbell, a Cope Thunder spokeswoman based at Elmendorf, with 160 headed to Elmendorf for the F-15 maneuvers and 50 going to Eielson to support KC-135 refueling missions. Yokota Air Base, Japan, is sending a handful of representatives.

Cope Thunder simulates the combat conditions pilots would face in wartime, Hilliard said. At the end of each session, mission evaluators will critique aircrews.

“Each day will end with a debrief conducted by all the persons involved in the day’s flying events,” Campbell said. “They are not graded but rather they note what tactics, techniques and procedures they accomplished well and what others need to be reviewed further.”

Cope Thunder gives Air Force units a chance to sharpen air combat skills, exchange air-operations tactics and promote closer relations among participating nations, she added.


More than 1,800 people are attending the exercise, including about 680 U.S. servicemembers.



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Re: Exercise Co-operative Cope Thunder

Postby Rudra » 17 Jul 2004 01:07

very nice. very nice.

now can we FINALLY start on a MTA bomber model with 6xrotary for ALCMs. I see visions of a line
of such moving down the taxiway...painted dark grey.

Use the night! Use the night!


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