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COPE NORTH 15 kicks off at Andersen

Exercise COPE NORTH 15 participates and aircraft from the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, Japan Air Self-Defense Force, Royal Australian Air Force, Republic of Korea Air Force, Royal New Zealand Air Force, and Philippine Air Force participate in a group photo event Feb.13, 2015, at Anderson Air Force Base, Guam. COPE NORTH is an annual multilateral field training exercise that emphasizes the exchange and execution of tactics, techniques and procedures, while enhancing interoperability. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jason Robertson/released)

Exercise COPE NORTH 15 participates and aircraft from the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, Japan Air Self-Defense Force, Royal Australian Air Force, Republic of Korea Air Force, Royal New Zealand Air Force, and Philippine Air Force participate in a group photo event Feb.13, 2015, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. COPE NORTH is an annual multilateral field training exercise that emphasizes the exchange and execution of tactics, techniques and procedures, while enhancing interoperability. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jason Robertson/released)

U.S. Air Force Capt. Ian Haig, 36th Airlift Squadron C-130 Hercules pilot, prepares to take off from Rota, Northern Mariana Islands, after delivering cargo used in a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief training event at exercise COPE NORTH 15 at Anderson Air Force Base, Guam, Feb. 15, 2015. Exercise CN 15 enhances humanitarian assistance and disaster relief crisis response capabilities between six nations and lays the foundation for regional cooperation expansion during real-world contingencies in the Asia-Pacific Region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jason Robertson/Released)

U.S. Air Force Capt. Ian Haig, 36th Airlift Squadron C-130 Hercules pilot, prepares to take off from Rota, Northern Mariana Islands, after delivering cargo used in a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief training event at exercise COPE NORTH 15 at Anderson Air Force Base, Guam, Feb. 15, 2015. Exercise CN 15 enhances humanitarian assistance and disaster relief crisis response capabilities between six nations and lays the foundation for regional cooperation expansion during real-world contingencies in the Asia-Pacific Region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jason Robertson/Released)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Gary Coe, 36th Airlift Squadron C-130 Hercules loadmaster, marshals a forklift into position to load cargo used during a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief training event at exercise COPE NORTH 15 at Anderson Air Force Base, Guam, Feb. 15, 2015. Exercise CN 15 enhances humanitarian assistance and disaster relief crisis response capabilities between six nations and lays the foundation for regional cooperation expansion during real-world contingencies in the Asia-Pacific Region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jason Robertson/Released)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Gary Coe, 36th Airlift Squadron C-130 Hercules loadmaster, marshals a forklift into position to load cargo used during a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief training event at exercise COPE NORTH 15 at Anderson Air Force Base, Guam, Feb. 15, 2015. Exercise CN 15 enhances humanitarian assistance and disaster relief crisis response capabilities between six nations and lays the foundation for regional cooperation expansion during real-world contingencies in the Asia-Pacific Region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jason Robertson/Released)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Gary Patterson, 36th Airlift Squadron C-130 Hercules loadmaster, marshals a forklift into position to offload cargo during a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief training event at exercise COPE NORTH 15 at Rota, Northern Mariana Islands, Feb. 15, 2015. Exercise CN 15 enhances humanitarian assistance and disaster relief crisis response capabilities between six nations and lays the foundation for regional cooperation expansion during real-world contingencies in the Asia-Pacific Region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jason Robertson/Released)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Gary Patterson, 36th Airlift Squadron C-130 Hercules loadmaster, marshals a forklift into position to offload cargo during a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief training event at exercise COPE NORTH 15 at Rota, Northern Mariana Islands, Feb. 15, 2015. Exercise CN 15 enhances humanitarian assistance and disaster relief crisis response capabilities between six nations and lays the foundation for regional cooperation expansion during real-world contingencies in the Asia-Pacific Region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jason Robertson/Released)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Gary Coe, 36th Airlift Squadron C-130 Hercules loadmaster, monitors the off load of cargo used during a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief training event at exercise COPE NORTH 15 at Rota, Northern Mariana Islands, Feb. 15, 2015. Exercise CN 15 enhances humanitarian assistance and disaster relief crisis response capabilities between six nations and lays the foundation for regional cooperation expansion during real-world contingencies in the Asia-Pacific Region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jason Robertson/Released)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Gary Coe, 36th Airlift Squadron C-130 Hercules loadmaster, monitors the off load of cargo used during a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief training event at exercise COPE NORTH 15 at Rota, Northern Mariana Islands, Feb. 15, 2015. Exercise CN 15 enhances humanitarian assistance and disaster relief crisis response capabilities between six nations and lays the foundation for regional cooperation expansion during real-world contingencies in the Asia-Pacific Region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jason Robertson/Released)

U.S. Air Force and Royal Australian Air Force Airmen walk off the ramp of a C-130 Hercules aircraft while participating in a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief training event at exercise COPE NORTH 15 at Rota at Northern Mariana Islands, Feb. 15, 2015. Exercise CN 15 enhances humanitarian assistance and disaster relief crisis response capabilities between six nations and lays the foundation for regional cooperation expansion during real-world contingencies in the Asia-Pacific Region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jason Robertson/Released)

U.S. Air Force and Royal Australian Air Force Airmen walk off the ramp of a C-130 Hercules aircraft while participating in a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief training event at exercise COPE NORTH 15 at Rota at Northern Mariana Islands, Feb. 15, 2015. Exercise CN 15 enhances humanitarian assistance and disaster relief crisis response capabilities between six nations and lays the foundation for regional cooperation expansion during real-world contingencies in the Asia-Pacific Region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jason Robertson/Released)

U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 36th Contingency Response Group and the 36th Airlift Squadron, load containers onto a C-130 Hercules during a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief training event at exercise COPE NORTH 15 at Anderson Air Force Base, Guam, Feb. 15, 2015. Exercise CN 15 enhances humanitarian assistance and disaster relief crisis response capabilities between six nations and lays the foundation for regional cooperation expansion during real-world contingencies in the Asia-Pacific Region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jason Robertson/Released)

U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 36th Contingency Response Group and the 36th Airlift Squadron, load containers onto a C-130 Hercules during a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief training event at exercise COPE NORTH 15 at Anderson Air Force Base, Guam, Feb. 15, 2015. Exercise CN 15 enhances humanitarian assistance and disaster relief crisis response capabilities between six nations and lays the foundation for regional cooperation expansion during real-world contingencies in the Asia-Pacific Region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jason Robertson/Released)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Gary Patterson, 36th Airlift Squadron C-130 Hercules loadmaster, communicates with pilots during engine startup procedures before taking off on a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief training event at exercise COPE NORTH 15 at Anderson Air Force Base, Guam, Feb. 15, 2015. Exercise CN 15 enhances humanitarian assistance and disaster relief crisis response capabilities between six nations and lays the foundation for regional cooperation expansion during real-world contingencies in the Asia-Pacific Region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jason Robertson/Released)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Gary Patterson, 36th Airlift Squadron C-130 Hercules loadmaster, communicates with pilots during engine startup procedures before taking off on a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief training event at exercise COPE NORTH 15 at Anderson Air Force Base, Guam, Feb. 15, 2015. Exercise CN 15 enhances humanitarian assistance and disaster relief crisis response capabilities between six nations and lays the foundation for regional cooperation expansion during real-world contingencies in the Asia-Pacific Region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jason Robertson/Released)

U.S. Air Force Capt. Ian Haig and 1st Lt. Eric Zane, 36th Airlift Squadron C-130 Hercules pilots, fly over Rota, Northern Mariana Islands, after delivering cargo used in a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief training event at exercise COPE NORTH 15, Feb. 15, 2015. Exercise CN 15 enhances humanitarian assistance and disaster relief crisis response capabilities between six nations and lays the foundation for regional cooperation expansion during real-world contingencies in the Asia-Pacific Region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jason Robertson/Released)

U.S. Air Force Capt. Ian Haig and 1st Lt. Eric Zane, 36th Airlift Squadron C-130 Hercules pilots, fly over Rota, Northern Mariana Islands, after delivering cargo used in a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief training event at exercise COPE NORTH 15, Feb. 15, 2015. Exercise CN 15 enhances humanitarian assistance and disaster relief crisis response capabilities between six nations and lays the foundation for regional cooperation expansion during real-world contingencies in the Asia-Pacific Region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jason Robertson/Released)

U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 36th Contingency Response Group and the 36th Airlift Squadron, offload a container from a C-130 Hercules during a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief training event at exercise COPE NORTH 15 at Rota, Northern Mariana Islands, Feb. 15, 2015. Exercise CN 15 enhances humanitarian assistance and disaster relief crisis response capabilities between six nations and lays the foundation for regional cooperation expansion during real-world contingencies in the Asia-Pacific Region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jason Robertson/Released)
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U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 36th Contingency Response Group and the 36th Airlift Squadron, offload a container from a C-130 Hercules during a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief training event at exercise COPE NORTH 15 at Rota, Northern Mariana Islands, Feb. 15, 2015. Exercise CN 15 enhances humanitarian assistance and disaster relief crisis response capabilities between six nations and lays the foundation for regional cooperation expansion during real-world contingencies in the Asia-Pacific Region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jason Robertson/Released)

A U.S. Air Force Airman from the 36th Contingency Response Group marshals a Royal Australian Air Force C-130 Hercules into position to offload cargo during a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief training event at exercise COPE NORTH 15 at Rota, Northern Mariana Islands, Feb. 15, 2015. Exercise CN 15 enhances humanitarian assistance and disaster relief crisis response capabilities between six nations and lays the foundation for regional cooperation expansion during real-world contingencies in the Asia-Pacific Region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jason Robertson/Released)
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A U.S. Air Force Airman from the 36th Contingency Response Group marshals a Royal Australian Air Force C-130 Hercules into position to offload cargo during a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief training event at exercise COPE NORTH 15 at Rota, Northern Mariana Islands, Feb. 15, 2015. Exercise CN 15 enhances humanitarian assistance and disaster relief crisis response capabilities between six nations and lays the foundation for regional cooperation expansion during real-world contingencies in the Asia-Pacific Region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jason Robertson/Released)

A U.S. Air Force Airman exits a Royal Australian Air Force C-130 Hercules to participate in a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief training event at exercise COPE NORTH 15 at Rota, Northern Mariana Islands, Feb. 15, 2015. Exercise CN 15 enhances humanitarian assistance and disaster relief crisis response capabilities between six nations and lays the foundation for regional cooperation expansion during real-world contingencies in the Asia-Pacific Region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jason Robertson/Released)
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A U.S. Air Force Airman exits a Royal Australian Air Force C-130 Hercules to participate in a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief training event at exercise COPE NORTH 15 at Rota, Northern Mariana Islands, Feb. 15, 2015. Exercise CN 15 enhances humanitarian assistance and disaster relief crisis response capabilities between six nations and lays the foundation for regional cooperation expansion during real-world contingencies in the Asia-Pacific Region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jason Robertson/Released)

U.S. Air Force and Royal Australian Air Force C-130 Hercules aircrafts are off loaded during a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief training event at exercise COPE NORTH 15 at Rota, Northern Mariana Islands, Feb. 15, 2015. Exercise CN 15 enhances humanitarian assistance and disaster relief crisis response capabilities between six nations and lays the foundation for regional cooperation expansion during real-world contingencies in the Asia-Pacific Region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jason Robertson/Released)
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U.S. Air Force and Royal Australian Air Force C-130 Hercules aircrafts are off loaded during a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief training event at exercise COPE NORTH 15 at Rota, Northern Mariana Islands, Feb. 15, 2015. Exercise CN 15 enhances humanitarian assistance and disaster relief crisis response capabilities between six nations and lays the foundation for regional cooperation expansion during real-world contingencies in the Asia-Pacific Region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jason Robertson/Released)

U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 36th Contingency Response Group offload cargo from a Royal Australian Air Force C-130 Hercules during a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief training event at exercise COPE NORTH 15 at Rota, Northern Mariana Islands, Feb. 15, 2015. Exercise CN 15 enhances humanitarian assistance and disaster relief crisis response capabilities between six nations and lays the foundation for regional cooperation expansion during real-world contingencies in the Asia-Pacific Region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jason Robertson/Released)
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U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 36th Contingency Response Group offload cargo from a Royal Australian Air Force C-130 Hercules during a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief training event at exercise COPE NORTH 15 at Rota, Northern Mariana Islands, Feb. 15, 2015. Exercise CN 15 enhances humanitarian assistance and disaster relief crisis response capabilities between six nations and lays the foundation for regional cooperation expansion during real-world contingencies in the Asia-Pacific Region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jason Robertson/Released)

U.S. Air Force and Royal Australian Air Force medical experts assess a critical care patient for additional wounds at an expeditionary intensive care unit at Sinapalo, Rota, Feb. 16, 2015. Exercise COPE NORTH 15 enhances humanitarian assistance and disaster relief crisis response capabilities between six nations and lays the foundation for regional cooperation expansion during real-world contingencies in the Asia-Pacific Region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Melissa B. White/Released)
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U.S. Air Force and Royal Australian Air Force medical experts assess a critical care patient for additional wounds at an expeditionary intensive care unit at Sinapalo, Rota, Feb. 16, 2015. Exercise COPE NORTH 15 enhances humanitarian assistance and disaster relief crisis response capabilities between six nations and lays the foundation for regional cooperation expansion during real-world contingencies in the Asia-Pacific Region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Melissa B. White/Released)

U.S. Air Force Airmen transfer a critical care patient to a Japan Air Self-Defense Force aeromedical evacuation team at Sinapalo, Rota, Feb. 16, 2015. Exercise COPE NORTH 15 enhances humanitarian assistance and disaster relief crisis response capabilities between six nations and lays the foundation for regional cooperation expansion during real-world contingencies in the Asia-Pacific Region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Melissa B. White/Released)
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U.S. Air Force Airmen transfer a critical care patient to a Japan Air Self-Defense Force aeromedical evacuation team at Sinapalo, Rota, Feb. 16, 2015. Exercise COPE NORTH 15 enhances humanitarian assistance and disaster relief crisis response capabilities between six nations and lays the foundation for regional cooperation expansion during real-world contingencies in the Asia-Pacific Region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Melissa B. White/Released)

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- Exercise Cope North 15 kicked off Feb. 15 at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, and will run through Feb. 27.

This year marks the 86th iteration of the multilateral training exercise which is a long-standing, multinational event designed to increase interoperability and improve combat readiness and develop a synergistic disaster response capability between the countries involved.

"It's important, so we can learn from each other," said U.S. Air Force Col. David Mineau, Cope North exercise director. "All of our forces have strengths and weak areas, but coming together, we can hone our abilities by listening to each other, increasing our interoperability and sharing techniques, tactics and procedures to make us more effective and to promote peace and stability in the region."

The exercise has two main objectives overall, including humanitarian assistance and disaster relief training involving air base opening and aeromedical evacuations and also an air combat training portion which includes air-to-air and air-to-ground combat and a large force employment exercise.

There are approximately 2,000 military members participating in CN15 this year from the United States, Australia, Japan, Republic of Korea, New Zealand and Philippines, as well as observers from the Singapore and Vietnam air forces. There are also nearly 100 aircraft from 23 different flying units within the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, Royal Australian Air Force, Japan Air Self-Defense Force and Republic of Korea Air Force involved in the exercise operations. This year is the first time the Royal New Zealand Air Force and Philippines Air Force are participating in Cope North to engage in the HA/DR portion of the exercise.

"I'm so excited to be part of Cope North," said JASDF Capt. Yasuhiro Kimura, Cope North public affairs officer. "This is a very good learning experience, and it's very important for us to work together with other countries."

Andersen AFB started hosting Cope North annually in 1999, but the event was previously held in Japan up until that point as often as four times per year. The next Cope North exercise is slated for early 2016.