February 2, 2009 (by SrA Ryan Whitney) - Ten F-16 Aggressors from the 18th Aggressor Squadron at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, arrived at Andersen Air Force Base Guam, Jan.31, to participate in Cope North 09-1.
Maj. Ethan Myers in F-16C block 30 #86-0304 from the 18th AS taxis past JASDF F-2s after arriving at Andersen AFB for Cope North 09-1 on January 31st, 2009. [USAF photo by SrA. Ryan Whitney]
Cope North is two-week annual Bilateral exercise between U.S. forces and the Japan Air Self Defense Force that begins Feb. 2, and is designed to strengthen military relationships between the two countries as well as enhance U.S. and Japanese air operations in defense of Japan.
This is the 10th time that Cope North has been held ob Andersen Air Force Base, and the fourth time that the JASDF will use live ordnance since the first exercise, in 1978.
"Its good to finally be here, and I think we are all ready to get in the air with these guys for the first time," said Lt. Col. Andrew Hansen' and F-16 aggressor pilot. "Flying here will also provide [the Aggressors] a different venue to fly in than what we are used to in Alaska."
The Aggressors will be joined by eight JASDF F-2s, JASDF E-2Cs, , Navy EA-6B Prowlers, and six B-52 Stratofortress's deployed here from Minot Air Force Base, in support of Andersen's Global Deterrence mission.
This is the first time that the Aggressors from Eielson have traveled here to participate in this exercise. During the exercise, the Eielson F-16s will provide the red air support, the same support that has earned them the name Aggressor.
All Aggressor pilots have been trained in enemy air tactics to provide blue air participants the most realistic threat simulation during exercise, and Cope North is no exception.
There are only three Aggressor Squadrons in the Air Force, the 64th and 65th Aggressor Squadrons from Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., and the 18th Aggressor Squadron from Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska.