India, US Air Forces exercise Ex Cope India-2018 begins in West Bengal
Air Forces of India and US began their 12-day joint exercise “Ex Cope India-2018” in West Bengal. It is fourth edition in series of bilateral joint exercise held by Air Forces of two nations conducted in India. This year for first time exercise will be held at two Air Force bases in West Bengal’s Kalaikunda and Panagarh.
This edition of exercise is aimed at providing operational exposure to air force personnel of both countries and undertake mutual exchange of best practices for enhancing operational capability. It will be focused on enhancing US-Indian mutual cooperation and building on existing capabilities, aircrew tactics and force employment. It will showcase US and India’s efforts and commitment to free and open Indo-Pacific region. US Air Force is participating with 12 F15 C/D, 3 C-130. Indian Air Force (IAF) is participating with Su-30 MKI, Jaguar, Mirage 2000, C-130J and AWACS aircraft.
Cope India is series of international Air Force exercises between Indian Air Force (IAF) and United States Air Force (USAF) conducted on and over Indian soil. The first such exercise was conducted at IAF air force station in Gwalior from February 2004. The exercise included flight tests, practice and demonstrations as well as lectures on subjects related to aviation. The exercise has evolved to incorporate subject matter expert exchanges, air mobility training, airdrop training and large-force exercises, in addition to fighter-training exercises. The exercise was repeated in 2005, 2006, 2009 and was last held in 2010.