by Nick Delgado
Guam - The U.S. Air Force, the Navy and the Japan Air Forces are wrapping up this year's COPE North exercise. The event is a joint mission that allows the Pacific Forces to conduct bilateral training and continue to build the relationship between the two countries in the event of a potential threat in the region.
Exercise Director Colonel Marc Reese says the exercise is the largest it's ever been with about 1,000 personnel and 56 different types of aircraft participating.
He says the exercise on Guam is critical, as the island is one of the locations with the best air space to train. Colonel Reese does say that the highly expensive exercise did come with its share of challenges including the bad weather, noting, "We have some limitations with respect to sea states; two of my objectives the word safety is in there and we have some restrictions on what we can do with certain wave heights and we've had to change some of our operations from one piece of airspace in the north down to the south today because of that but the great planning we do between the two sides allows us to be flexible."
He adds that they are working to minimize impacts off base for future exercises. COPE North concludes tomorrow.