Dobbins takes Cope North 22

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Lauren Douglas
  • 94th Airlift Wing

Dobbins’ Airmen and C-130s participated in exercise Cope North 2022 at Andersen Air Base, Guam and outlying islands Feb. 18-22, 2022.

Cope North is a three-week defense planning exercise that enhances U.S. relationships with regional allies and partners. Exercise operations foster the exchange of information and refine tactics, techniques and procedures to better integrate multilateral defense capabilities. 

“The 94th Airlift Wing's participation in exercises like Cope North is critical for us to train to operate in the pacific theater against near peer adversaries,” said Maj. Stephen Shearer, 700th Airlift Squadron navigator and mission commander. “The experience of meeting and overcoming the obstacles inherent in operating in such a challenging, geographically-dispersed environment is critical to our preparation for future conflict.”

Dobbins Airmen performed large cargo transports and drops, as well as simulated casualty evacuation, moving people and vital equipment from departure to destination. These operations enhanced interoperability in support of regional security and disaster response. 

“Cope North was a great opportunity to integrate with our military partners in the region,” said Maj. Aaron Brown, 700th AS pilot. “Exercising disaster relief and large force employment concepts with our allies really helps to build trust and efficiency in future operations.”

Airmen received daily instruction from Andersen’s central command, then the unit's individual mission planning centers were responsible for organizing and implementing the day’s events. 

“It was the first time operating in the Pacific theater for many of us, so the experience we gained is extremely valuable going forward,” explained Brown.

With unique circumstances and newly discovered difficulties, like decentralized command and control, unpredictable cargo loads, fuel and weight limitations, crews planned and executed the necessary missions throughout the exercise.

“As a C-130 loadmaster, Cope North offered a variety of experiences that did an excellent job of simulating deployed tactical airlift operations,” said Master Sgt. John Powell, 700th AS loadmaster. “The pivot to the Pacific offered new experiences which require agility and skills that were not necessary in previous conflicts.”