Air Force Stations Arjan Singh (Panagarh), Kalaikunda, and Agra are currently hosting Exercise Cope India 23, a bilateral Air Exercise involving the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the United States Air Force (USAF). The primary objective of this exercise is to promote mutual understanding and knowledge-sharing between the two Air Forces.
The first phase of the exercise has commenced, with a focus on air mobility. Transport aircraft and Special Forces assets from both Air Forces will be involved in this phase. The C-130J and C-17 aircraft will be fielded by both sides, with the USAF operating an MC-130J as well. Additionally, the exercise will include Japanese Air Self Defence Force aircrew, who will participate as observers.
Exercise Cope India 23 is a biennial bilateral air exercise between the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the United States Air Force (USAF), which aims to promote mutual understanding and enhance interoperability between the two air forces. The exercise is named after the first Cope India exercise that was conducted in 2004.
The exercise will be conducted over a two-week period, from April 10 to 23, 2023, at Air Force Stations Arjan Singh (Panagarh), Kalaikunda, and Agra, with a focus on air mobility, air defence, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) operations.
In the first phase of the exercise, which commenced on April 10, the transport aircraft and special forces assets of both the Air Forces will be involved, with a particular focus on air mobility. The C-130J and C-17 aircraft will be operated by both sides, with the USAF also operating an MC-130J. Japanese Air Self Defence Force aircrew will participate in the exercise as observers.
The final phase of the exercise will focus on HADR operations and will involve joint training in search and rescue, medical evacuation, and disaster response.
Exercise Cope India 23 is a significant step towards enhancing the strategic partnership between India and the United States, and it underscores the growing military-to-military cooperation between the two countries. The exercise will also provide an opportunity for both air forces to learn from each other’s best practices and strengthen their capabilities to operate together in the future.