Cannon airmen train in Guam

Freedom Newspapers

Approximately 400 airmen deployed to Guam from Cannon Air Force Base will be participating in a joint training exercise, according to Cannon officials.

The airmen, who arrived May 30 on the island, will be working with members of an F-2 squadron from the Japan Air Defense Force.

The exercise will last from Monday through June 27.

Andersen Air Force Base in Guam is hosting 18 F-16s from Cannon’s 522 fighter squadron. The planes and airmen are expected to return in approximately four months, according to Cannon officials.

“It’s always a unique opportunity for any fighter squadron, especially the 522, to participate in joint coalition and bilateral training,” Cannon spokesman Lt. George Tobias said Thursday. “It’s always a pleasure to work with our sister services, but also foreign services.

It’s a great opportunity.”

According to the Web site Globalsecurity.org, the purpose of the exercise, called Cope North, “is to enhance U.S. and Japanese air operations.”

First held in 1978, it is one of the longest series of bilateral exercises held in the Pacific theater, the site said.

“Andersen is a prime location for us to train and test our ability to deploy,” Maj. James Mansard, 522 Expeditionary Fighter Squadron assistant director of operations told Andersen public affairs.

“While this base provides the perfect staging area, it also allows us to conduct training over water, which is a great opportunity, and participate in joint operations with other services and countries,” Mansard added.