The U.S. Air Force F-15 fighter aircraft have arrived at Air Force Station Kalaikunda in West Bengal on Dec. 1 for the Exercise Cope India with the Indian Air Force.
More than 40 aircraft will participate in the exercise scheduled from Dec. 3-14 at AFS Kalaikunda and Air Force Station Arjan Singh. The USAF contingent will include F-15 Eagle fighter jets and C-130H Hercules tactical airlifters while the IAF contingent will comprise of Su-30MKI fighter jets, Mirage-2000 combat aircraft, Jaguar attack aircraft, Il-78 aerial refueling aircraft, C-130J Super Hercules tactical airlifters, and Beriev A-50EI and DRDO AEW&CS airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft.
In case of USAF, approximately 200 Airmen with 15 aircraft from the 18th Wing, Kadena Air Base, Japan, and 182nd Airlift Wing (C-130H), Illinois Air National Guard, will participate in the exercise.
Two USAF C-17 Globemaster III strategic airlifters arrived at AFS Kalaikunda with advance ground party and equipment for the exercise on Nov. 28 with the subsequent contingent arriving on Nov. 30.
Exercise CI19 is a long-standing bilateral U.S. Pacific Air Forces (PACAF)-sponsored field training exercise focused on enhancing U.S.-Indian mutual cooperation by building on existing capabilities, aircrew tactics and force employment.
Cope India began in 2004 as a fighter training exercise held at Air Station Gwalior, India. 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. The exercise was last held in 2009. The exercise showcases U.S. and India’s efforts and commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific region.