Aussie KC-30 Makes Exercise Debut

The Royal Australian Air Force deployed one of its KC-30A tankers as part of its contingent participating in Exercise Cope North 2013 at Andersen AFB, Guam. This marked the first time that the RAAF has exercised the KC-30 outside of Australia, according to the air arm’s Feb. 6 release. RAAF aircraft, also including F/A-18 fighters, an E-7A Wedgetail airborne surveillance platform, and C-130J transport, will scrimmage with Air Force and Japan Air Self Defense Force assets in the combined combat and humanitarian relief scenarios that began on Feb. 4 and run through Feb. 15. “In the mixed operational environment that the RAAF deploy[s] in, this training will be invaluable,” said RAAF contingent commander Group Capt. Robert Chipman. This is the second time that Australia is participating in Cope North, states the release. Nearly 1,700 personnel from the three nations are involved in the exercise, according to Pacific Air Forces. Cope North also features Air Force B-52, C-130, E-3, F-15, F-16, and KC-135 aircraft as well as Japanese C-130, E-2C, F-2, F-15J, and KC-767 platforms. The KC-767 is also making its exercise debut, said PACAF. (Includes Andersen report by MSgt. Joshua Gray)