US, India join forces in bilateral flying training

The US and Indian air forces are scheduled to participate in exercise COPE INDIA 2019 at Air Station Kalaikunda and Air Station Arjan Singh, Panagarh from December 3-14.

Exercise CI19 is a long-standing bilateral US Pacific Air Forces (PACAF)-sponsored Field Training Exercise (FTX), conducted with the Indian Air Force, focused on enhancing US-Indian mutual cooperation and building on existing capabilities, aircrew tactics and force employment.

“We are excited and grateful for the opportunity to fly and train with our Indian Air Force counterparts within their home country,” said Col Darryl Insley, 13 Air Expeditionary Group-COPE India 2019 (AEG-CI19) commander. “Through participation in COPE India, I’m confident that all Airmen involved will both increase their skills and build meaningful bonds through bilateral engagements and exchanges.”

Approximately 200 US Airmen with 15 aircraft from the 18th Wing, Kadena Air Base, Japan and 182d Airlift Wing, Illinois Air National Guard will participate in CI19 alongside their IAF counterparts.

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 2010.

The exercise showcases US and India’s efforts and commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

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