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US, Indian air forces to hold joint exercise

Press Trust of India  |  Kolkata 

Air forces of the and are scheduled to participate in a 12-day joint exercise 'Cope 2019' at two air force stations in next month, the said here Thursday.

The exercise will be held from December 3 to 14 at and (Panagarh).

The exercise showcases efforts and commitment of the two nations to a free and open Indo-Pacific region, a communique from the said.

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

"Exercise CI19 is a long-standing bilateral US Pacific Air Forces (PACAF)-sponsored Field Training Exercise (FTX), conducted with the (IAF), focused on enhancing US-Indian mutual cooperation and building on existing capabilities, aircrew tactics and force employment," the communique said.

"We are excited and grateful for the opportunity to fly and train with our counterparts within their home country," Col Darryl Insley, 13 Air Expeditionary Group-COPE India 2019 (AEG-CI19) commander, said.

Approximately 200 US Airmen with 15 aircraft from the 18th Wing, Kadena Air Base, and 182nd Airlift Wing, Illinois Air will take part in the exercise alongside their IAF counterparts.

"Through participation in COPE India, I am confident that all airmen involved will both increase their skills and build meaningful bonds through bilateral engagements and exchanges," the communique quoted Insley as saying.

Cope India began in 2004 as a fighter training exercise held at

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

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, November 29 2018. 20:15 IST