COPE North 2019 paused until Wutip passes

EXERCISE: U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Navy aircraft fly in formation alongside Japan Air Self-Defense Force and Royal Australian Air Force aircraft during exercise Cope North 2018 off Guam a year ago. This year's version of the multinational exercise began Monday. U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jarrod Vickers

The United States, Japan and Australia are scheduled to participate in the massive military exercise Cope North 2019, which kicks off at Andersen Air Force Base on Monday and continues through March 8.

The long-standing exercise is designed to enhance multilateral air operations among the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, Japan Air Self-Defense Force and Royal Australian Air Force, the U.S. Pacific Air Forces command public affairs office announced Friday.

More than 2,000 U.S. airmen, Marines and sailors will train alongside approximately 850 combined Japanese and Australian service members. Additionally, nearly 100 U.S., Japanese and Australian aircraft from 21 flying units will participate in this year's exercise.

The exercise will begin with a weeklong humanitarian assistance and disaster relief training event that will then lead to a large-force exercise, all of which is designed to increase readiness among the allied nations, the command stated.

"The exercise’s focus on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief provides critical training to U.S. and allied forces that has a direct impact on the militaries' ability to support the region, including Palau and the Federated States of Micronesia," the command added.

Cope North began in 1978 as a quarterly bilateral exercise held at Misawa Air Base, Japan.

Guam started hosting Cope North in 1999. It is now the U.S. Pacific Air Forces’ largest multilateral exercise and is held every year, the command stated.