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Why in news?

  • The fourth edition of the series of bilateral joint exercise, ‘Ex Cope India-18’, began between the air forces of the United States and India on December 3, 2018 in West Bengal, India.
  • The 12-day exercise will be held from December 3-14 at Air Station Kalaikunda and Air Station Arjan Singh in Panagarh airbase. This is the first time that the exercise is being planned at two Air Force bases.

Objective:

  • The main aim of exercise is to provide operational exposure and undertake mutual exchange of best practices towards enhancing operational capability.

Highlights:

  • COPE INDIA 2019 is a bilateral Field Training Exercise (FTX) which has been sponsored by US Pacific Air Forces (PACAF).
  • This field training exercise will enhance US-Indian mutual cooperation. It will also seek to improve existing capabilities, aircrew tactics and force employment. During this field training exercise, India and US will showcase their efforts and commitment for free and open Indo-Pacific region.
  • A total of around 200 US air force personnel with 15 aircraft from 18th Wing At Kadena Air Base in Japan and 182 Airlift Wing of the Illinois Air National Guard are expected to participate in this air training exercise.
  • Cope India is a series of Air Force exercises between the Indian Air Force and the United States Air Force. The first such air training exercise was conducted at the Indian Air Force station in Gwalior between February 16 to 27 in 2004.
  • The air training exercise included flight tests, practice, and demonstrations. Besides this, the lectures on subjects related to aviation were also organized.
  • In addition to the fighter training exercise, it has evolved to incorporate air mobility training, airdrop training and large-force exercises. This exercise was also held in 2005, 2006, 2009 and 2010.

Cope India:

  • Cope India is a series of joint Air Force exercises held between the Indian Air Force and the United States Air Force, in India.
  • The first such exercise, which required many months of preparation, was conducted at the air force station in Gwalior in February 2004.
  • The exercise included flight tests, practice and demonstrations as well as lectures on subjects related to aviation.
  • There were also media functions and social interactions held among troops of the two countries.
  • The exercise has now evolved to incorporate subject matter expert exchanges, air mobility training, airdrop training and large-force exercises, in addition to fighter-training exercises.
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