Cope North Exercise To Test ‘Agile’ Air Ops Austere Airfield

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Unread post28 Jan 2021, 00:06

Trilateral Cope North Exercise To Test ‘Agile’ Air Ops On Austere Airfields [Do they invite USMC F-35Bs for LUNCH?]
27 Jan 2021 Theresa Hitchens

"The Agile Combat Employment (ACE) concept uses a 'hub and spoke' network of permanent, well-established 'hubs' and more remote, austere 'spokes'," says Air Force Brig. Gen. Jeremy Sloane, commander of the 36th Air Wing in Guam.

WASHINGTON: The US, Japan and Australia will test their ability to work together, especially in keeping supplies moving while under attack, during Cope North 2021 in two weeks.

During the exercise, the U.S. Air Force will focus on its Agile Combat Employment (ACE) concept, says Brig. Gen. Jeremy Sloane, who commands the 36th Air Wing at Andersen AFB in Guam. The annual Cope North exercise includes the US Air Force, the Royal Australian Air Force and the Japanese Self Defense Forces. In 2020 the exercise, included roughly 2,500 participants, Sloane said, and nearly 100 aircraft.

The ACE concept is the Air Force’s effort to figure out how to overcome expected attacks on supply chains, depots and bases, known as ‘logistics under attack,’ in a conflict with China or Russia. Logistics under attack — ‘contested logistics,’ is one of the sub-elements of the US military’s developing Joint Warfighting Concept for prosecuting operations simultaneously and seamlessly across the air, land, sea, space and cyberspace domains.

Sloane said that the upcoming Cope North will involve “one of the most challenging ACE operations” exercises, when “F-35s and F-16s will conduct ‘spoke’ operations by landing, refueling, replanting and launching at Andersen’s Northwest Field. And, for those of you that haven’t been here, Northwest Field is a truly austere airfield carved out of the jungle on the northwest side of our base. Just under 8000 feet — with some ramp space, taxiways and some hangar capacity — Northwest Field is surrounded by harsh jungle. It has minimal markings, minimal lighting, and no permanent aircraft or airfields control. Thus far only C-130 and helo ops have been conducted on that airfield.”

Sloan said the 36th Air Wing’s Contingency Response Group “will practice opening the airfield, controlling the airspace, clearing landing options, [and] supporting combat turns of F-35s and F-16s” during the exercise.... [then Valiant Shield]

...For ACE operations, the [Valiant Shield] exercise demonstrated “unconventional” re-fueling operations from an austere location, including re-fueling an F-22 from the C-130J using the new(ish) Aerial Bulk Fuel Delivery System (ABFDS), and the aircraft’s first “hot refueling from a C-130J,” Sloane said.

The ABFDS comprises two 3,000 gallon “aerial fuel bladder” tanks, two pumping modules and hoses, according to a Pacific Air Forces press release. The Valiant Shield refueling of the F-22 using ABFDS was the first time the system was used for a “hot pit” refuel a fifth-generation fighter, the release explained.

The exercise also demonstrated some aspects of the Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS), the Air Force’s part of JADC2 — although not to the extent that the Air Force had hoped due to the COVID restrictions."

Source: https://breakingdefense.com/2021/01/tri ... airfields/
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Unread post28 Jan 2021, 00:14

F-35s, F-16s to Operate from Austere Airfield on Guam During Cope North
26 Jan 2021 Brian W. Everstine

"Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, will soon prove the ability of small groups of Airmen to turn fourth- and fifth-generation aircraft on a flight line the base’s commander called a “no-kidding remote environment.” The February exercise is one of many that fall under the Agile Combat Employment concept, aimed at increasing USAF’s ability to use austere locations for combat operations.

For this year’s iteration of Cope North, Andersen’s Northwest Field will host F-35s from Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, and F-16s from Misawa Air Base, Japan, on the rough airfield that until now has only hosted C-130s and helicopter operations. Small groups of contingency response Airmen will quickly clear the airfield to allow fighters to come in and conduct combat turns, practicing PACAF’s vision of Agile Combat Employment, said Brig. Gen. Jeremy T. Sloane, commander of the 36th Wing at Andersen, during an Air Force Association “Air and Space Warfighters in Action” virtual event.

Being able to operate from small, rough airfields is a requirement, as the Defense Department shifts its focus to great power competition where major airfields could be at risk in a fight, he said....

...Andersen is the U.S. military’s farthest west sovereign operating base, which is key to operations, but it also makes it a target, Sloane said. China released a propaganda film last year showing its long-range bombers targeting the base. At the time, PACAF called it “an attempt to coerce and intimidate the region,” but it also highlights the importance of ACE, as well as the need for diplomacy and planning with nearby allies to ensure access to more potential operating bases, Sloane said. Relationship with small Pacific island nations could be key in operational planning.

“We’ve got to be very forward and proactive about going out and engaging … [We need to] have real, meaningful relationships with otherwise small communities that [could] allow access at some point of our choosing,” he said. “That could be something as easy as supporting COVID vaccinations, providing humanitarian and disaster relief in an area that doesn’t get a lot of news.”"

Photo: "F-35s from Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, and F-16s from Misawa Air Base, Japan, will practice operating from this remote airstrip at Northwest Field, next to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, which is typically reserved for C-130 and helicopter operations. USAF photo by Capt. Andrew G. Hoskinson." https://www.airforcemag.com/app/uploads ... caled.jpeg


Source: https://www.airforcemag.com/f-35s-f-16s ... ope-north/


Airmen and Space Warfighters in Action Welcomes Brig Gen Jeremy Sloane
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AfMycZ0ryKo

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Unread post28 Jan 2021, 01:58

ALERT 5: http://alert5.com/wp-content/uploads/20 ... 016678.jpg
"An aerial view of the Pacific Regional Training Center Oct. 4, 2012, at Northwest Field, Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. The training grounds are home to multiple Air Force squadrons and offers space operations, training classrooms and warehouse storage for vital equipment in support of contingency and humanitarian operations around the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo)" http://alert5.com/2021/01/28/usaf-will- ... more-86536
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Unread post25 Feb 2021, 10:02

Island-Hopping F-35s Test Pacific Air Forces’ Agility Concept
24 Feb 2021 Patrick Tucker

"A pair of jets flew two missions from different airfields on the same day in a bid to complicate Chinese targeting.

Pacific Air Forces, which is striving to be able to orchestrate a strike campaign from multiple far-flung island bases faster than a highly capable enemy like China can target them, tested the concept in last week’s Cope North exercise.

“We flew our [two] F-35s from Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska down to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, and the very next day they took off on a mission, executed the mission but then landed in Palau,” Gen. Kenneth S. Wilsbach, commander of Pacific Air Forces, said during an Air Force Association event on Wednesday. “There was one of our C-130s that refueled them while they were running. They were on the ground for less than an hour, took off again and executed another mission back to Anderson.” said

It’s a big test for a new concept called Agile Combat Employment, or ACE, which seeks to make command posts a lot more mobile. Wilsbach described it as an essential innovation to stay ahead of more advanced militaries such as China’s. “A big portion of Agile Combat Employment is you don’t always go back to where you started from…so making it difficult for an adversary to figure out where you are, how long you’re going to be there, exactly where on the airfield you are…You complicate the targeting of your adversary.”

U.S. Air Force Europe is experimenting with the same concept.... [more at jump]

...For PACAF, a big part of that agility is training airmen for a wider variety of roles, which they also experimented with during the Cope North exercise. An airmen trained in security would learn about refueling, communications, etc. “This gives us more capability with fewer people, which reduces logistics,” Wilsbach said. A second exercise is planned for May in Alaska that Wilsbach described as “much grander,” incorporating Navy and Army elements.

Source: https://www.defenseone.com/technology/2 ... pt/172282/
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Unread post25 Feb 2021, 16:07

Related articles. 8)
https://www.pacom.mil/Media/News/News-A ... -north-21/
Multi-capable Airmen ‘Agile Combat Employment’ Training at Cope North 21
| Senior Airman Jonathan Valdes | Feb. 22, 2021
ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam --
Somewhere above the vast Pacific Ocean, a fighter aircraft has flown for hours, and its fuel supply is running low. Unable to return to its home station for fuel, that's when Agile Combat Employment (ACE) comes into play. Down below on a small island, three Airmen are waiting to refuel the aircraft and rapidly launch it back into the fight.
“ACE is this warfighting concept that the Pacific Air Forces is trying to operationalize, and we’re doing a pretty good job of it,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Jared Hutchinson, Cope North 2021 exercise director and 35th Operations Group commander at Misawa Air Base, Japan. “The basic concept behind it is that we use our agility to disperse off our main operating bases, and then we execute in a decentralized or more autonomous manner, which allows us to be much more resilient in a contested environment.”

A focal training point for Cope North 21 was to test the ACE multi-capable Airmen concept with our partner nation, Japan.
This concept involves teaching personnel how to complete tasks outside of their assigned Air Force Specialty Code (AFSC). At Cope North, Airmen and members of the Koku-Jieitai were divided into three-person teams, acting as two crew chiefs and a fuels technician. U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Todd Johnson is a standards and evaluations assistant flight chief assigned to the 36th Contingency Response Squadron (CRS) at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. As a member of the CRS, Johnson could be out the door at a moment’s notice responding to a crisis anywhere in the region, making him a prime candidate for the multi-capable Airmen training.
“If an individual is responsible for completing a task and is unable to do so, it’s very important that the person to his left or right is trained and able to complete the task at hand,” he said. “When you’re on the road, it’s nice to be able to help your counterparts and can become necessary for you to fill their shoes if something unexpected were to happen.”

Unfamiliar at first with the capability, Johnson used a national pastime to explain ACE.
“Think of it like a pit stop in NASCAR. If you have a well-trained and organized team, then a jet will be able to land, get a safety check, get refueled and ready to get back in the sky in just minutes,” he said.
The ACE training consists of three phases: Phase one is classroom academics. Phase two is hands-on training and familiarization with the aircraft. Phase three is real-world execution.

“During academics we covered the requirements for hot-pit refuels including how each area should be set up, the personnel required, skill level and qualifications of each member,” Johnson said. “We also covered both the F-16 Fighting Falcon and F-35A Lightning II hot-pit refuel procedures, danger areas, hand signals and safety measures required to perform the task safely and efficiently.”
Phase 3 took place on Feb. 15 and 16 with Johnson and his team heading out to Northwest Field to put their skills to the test. They hot-pit refueled an F-16 Fighting Falcon and an F-35A, completing all the phases of ACE.
According to U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Dustin Mustach, ACE operations have come a long way in such a short time.

“We are no longer taking baby steps with ACE, we are making leaps proving we can operate anywhere,” said Mustach, an F-16 Fighting Falcon crew chief assigned to the 13th Fighter Squadron at Misawa Air Base, Japan. “This ACE operation is going to be a massive reference point for multiple bases. Future ACE operations will be prepared faster, making goals more attainable, which will eventually lead to ACE having much larger goals.”
As the old saying goes 'with practice comes mastery,' and the exercises at Cope North 21 worked towards that goal.
“What we learned is only going to improve with repetition,” said Johnson. “As ACE and MCA continue to develop and find its place in the Air Force, what we've accomplished and learned this Cope North is going to help build and pave the road for future MCA.”

video 8)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggv8R4nveD4

https://www.dvidshub.net/news/389256/co ... e-pandemic
Cope North 21 celebrates series of ‘firsts’ despite pandemic
GUAM, UNITED STATES 02.19.2021 Story by Tech. Sgt. Jerilyn Quintanilla Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs
Forty-three years ago, the U.S. and the Japan Air Self-Defense Force, or Koku-Jieitai, joined together for the inaugural Cope North exercise in Japan. In 1999 the operation moved to its current home on Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. News of it ending in ‘victory’ was splashed across local newspapers. Today, Cope North has grown to be the largest multinational exercise in the U.S. Air Force’s largest area of operations.
“Exercise Cope North 21 is an annual trilateral field training exercise, and it’s designed to increase the readiness and interoperability of the Pacific Air Forces, the Royal Australian Air Force as well as the Japan Air Self-Defense Force,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Jared Hutchinson, the Cope North 21 exercise director.
Cope North 21 operations are two-fold, combat air forces large force employment, which incorporated Agile Combat Employment (ACE), and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts.

The history of Cope North is paved with historic firsts for the U.S. and Japan, as well as the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) who came on board in 2011. This year was no different.
“We’re really proud of some of the ‘first’ things we’re doing this year in this exercise,” said Hutchinson. “The Koku-Jieitai has really stepped up this year, and they are leading the humanitarian assistance and disaster relief portion of this exercise for the first time. This is also the first time the F-35 from Eielson Air Force Base is attending this exercise.”
The F-35A Lightning II and the F-16 Fighting Falcon conducted ACE operations at nearby Northwest Field, becoming the first fighter aircraft to land on the austere airstrip since World War II.

Koku-Jieitai forces also incorporated live-bombing training with the Mitsubishi F-2, as well as an airdrop mission to Angaur, Palau from a Kawasaki C-2. This marked a first for Japan and Cope North according to Col. Daisuke Kadota, the 2 WG FG/CC and Koku-Jieitai exercise director.
The list of accomplishments is impressive under normal circumstances, but this year participants dealt with the added curveball in the form of a global pandemic.
“If we let COVID dictate how we train, our readiness will suffer, and we refuse to do that,” said Hutchinson. “We’ve taken every precaution to make sure that all the participants and their families are safe, all the populations that we visit are safe and also that we’re safe when we go back and re-integrate into our bases when we go home.”

RAAF GPCAPT Nathan Christie, the Australian exercise director, sees the team’s performance in spite of the current environment as evidence of the strength of our international bonds.
“The fact that we can undertake this exercise during a global pandemic proves that no matter what we face if we work together we are able to do so and combat those effects together,” he said.
Although COVID-19 brought unprecedented obstacles at every turn of the exercise, the three countries remained committed to the exercise, emerging stronger and more united.

“We are here to celebrate our similarities and understand the similarities between the three nations. More importantly we’re here to understand the differences between Japan, U.S. and Australia. It is our differences and understanding those differences that makes us stronger together,” Christie said.
“We only get stronger when we increase the strength of our relationships with our partners in the region and our overall goal for the Indo-Pacific region is peace and stability,” Hutchinson reiterated. “We can’t do that by ourselves.”
Feb. 19 marks the conclusion of Cope North 21, and with numerous milestones under its belt it ends as it did 22 years ago, in victory.
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Unread post01 Mar 2021, 20:24

Are there agressors based @ Guam? Or is that a Japanese F2 (?) on the far right?

Wow. Bug has a slightly larger visual signature than a Viper. But a Super Bug is durn near as big as that flying tennis court. F-35 is kind of chubby, but not much larger than a Viper.
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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Unread post01 Mar 2021, 22:10

steve2267 wrote:Are there agressors based @ Guam? Or is that a Japanese F2 (?) on the far right?




looks like an aggressor, likely out of AK
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Unread post02 Mar 2021, 19:57

I'm wondering IF an F-15E Strike Eagle can carry 15 JDAMS [eventually] (but NOT employ all bombs carried): How Many JDAMS can it LAND with at destination? Usually I thought there is a weight limit but perhaps the F-15E does not have one?
Strike Eagle proven capable of carrying 15 JDAMs on single sortie
02 Mar 2021 1st Lt. Savanah Bray, 53rd Wing

"...“Strike Eagle can now carry enough JDAMs for an active combat mission, land at a remote location, and reload itself and/or another aircraft – such as an F-35 or F-22 – for additional combat sorties,” said Lt. Col. Jacob Lindaman, commander, 85th TES.

While not all the JDAMs carried can be employed in a single mission, this proves the Strike Eagle’s ability to ferry JDAMs while simultaneously releasing them on an active combat mission – a key component to the ACE model. The combat tactic of reloading in a remote location previously took two C-130s to carry the necessary munitions and personnel. Once at the location, the JDAMs had to be assembled, taking extra time. The additional carriage on the F-15E allows fully assembled JDAMs to be transported, reducing the requirement to just one C-130 and eliminating onsite bomb building....

...While the 85th Test and Evaluation Squadron is ensuring the readiness and lethality of the Strike Eagle’s tactics, operational units recently practiced the ACE model at Agile Flag 21-1."

Photo: "The 85th Test and Evaluation Squadron successfully flew an F-15E Strike Eagle carrying six JDAMs on a single side of the aircraft on Feb 22, 2021, showcasing a proof of concept for Agile Combat Employment, known as “ACE.”" https://media.defense.gov/2021/Mar/02/2 ... 7-1001.JPG (1.5Mb)


Source: https://www.acc.af.mil/News/Article-Dis ... le-sortie/
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Unread post02 Mar 2021, 20:22

Are those 1000lb JDAMs?
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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Unread post02 Mar 2021, 20:29

Where is the sense in using an F-15 as a transport plane to haul bombs for other fighters? This sounds like some one trying to make lemon aid out lemons.
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Unread post02 Mar 2021, 20:31

no, 500lb
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Unread post02 Mar 2021, 20:54

sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:no, 500lb


I thought they looked small.
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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Unread post02 Mar 2021, 21:23

alloycowboy wrote:Where is the sense in using an F-15 as a transport plane to haul bombs for other fighters? This sounds like some one trying to make lemon aid out lemons.



hardest way to move aviation ordnance is via aviation :mrgreen:

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Unread post02 Mar 2021, 21:29

Yes indeed this is a BOMB TRUCK however some bombs can be dropped during the transport if'n/as required.
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Unread post30 Apr 2021, 20:43

OOPS THEY did it again... (see artickle above)
Deployed F-15Es Prove Capability to ‘Tactically’ Ferry Bombs
29 Apr 2021 Brian W. Everstine

"F-15Es that deployed to the Middle East on April 25 proved their ability to move bombs in a “tactical ferry mission” just two months after the concept was originally tested.

Six Strike Eagles flew to Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates, from another deployed location carrying twice their standard load of bombs, reducing the need for mobility aircraft to ferry the broken-down bombs closer to the fight. Airmen were able to increase the munitions load by using hardpoints that don’t typically carry bombs, such as those used for fuel tanks or targeting pods.

“These F-15Es are carrying what is called a ‘tac-ferry’ load out. What that means is we can maneuver using Agile Combat Employment and be postured to go forward from a main operating base,” said Lt. Col. Curtis Culver, director of operations for the 494th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, in a release [ https://www.afcent.af.mil/News/Article/ ... ons-ferry/ ].

“The Strike Eagle can now carry enough JDAMs for an active combat mission, land at a remote location, and reload itself and/or another aircraft—such as an F-35 or F-22—for additional combat sorties,” 85th TES Commander Lt. Col. Jacob Lindaman said in the release.

Not all of the JDAMs can be dropped in a single mission. However, carrying this many bombs previously required two C-130s to carry the munitions and personnel, who then had to assemble them. The new concept means just one C-130 would be needed for personnel, and the bombs would already be built.

Photo: "An F-15E Strike Eagle piloted by a member of the 494th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron taxis on the flightline after landing at Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates, April 25, 2021. The fighter aircraft arrived with a modified munitions configuration, enabling the jet to carry double the standard munitions load. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Zade Vadnais." https://www.airforcemag.com/app/uploads ... caled.jpeg


Source: https://www.airforcemag.com/deployed-f- ... rry-bombs/
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