20 Feb 2018
- By Junhan B. Todiño – [email protected] – Variety News Staff
TINIAN — Close to a hundred airmen from the U.S. Air Force and allied forces are here for the weeklong 2018 Cope North exercises, an annual multi-national military training that focuses on humanitarian assistance and disaster-relief operations.
The 96 participants include the airmen of the Royal Australian Air Force and Koku Jieitai or the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force.
“This year is the most integrated that I’ve seen and it’s really good work,” said Cope North commander Lt. Col. David Taylor of the Andersen Air Force Base on Guam.
It was Taylor’s fourth Cope North assignment. In his first assignment, his duty was to help ensure the safe operation of the landing zone and the camp environment. In his last two assignments, he was commander of the ground-response force.
Last year, Taylor said the training focused on moving civilians who were clear to travel from the island.
This year, the training involves landing a C-130, bringing in supplies and personnel and setting up operations, he added.
Taylor said the training allows participants to share the tactics, techniques and procedures they use when providing humanitarian assistance during disaster-relief operations.
There are five airmen undergoing training on Saipan, but a bigger contingent is on Rota where a medical operation has been set up under a Royal Australian Air Force commander.
“Any injured persons we have from here [Tinian] are flown to Rota,” Taylor said.
Next year, he said they will conduct another exercise on Tinian with other nations, focusing on responding to the devastating effects of a natural disaster.
Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/102370-over-100-airmen-on-tinian-for-cope-north-2018