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Indian, US air force learn from each other at COPE India 2018


Garud Commandos of Indian Airforce in action during the US-India air force bilateral joint exercise at Kalaikunda airbase in West Midnapore district of West Bengal, Monday, Dec. 10, 2018. A PTI Photo.

KALAIKUNDA, WB (PTI): Air forces of India and the United States said the two sides were learning the best practices of each other during the ongoing COPE India 2018 exercise, in which 33 fighter aircraft are taking part.

While 12 F15 fighters of the US Air Force (USAF) are participating in the exercise, 10 Sukhoi 30s, six Jaguars and five Mirage 2000s of the Indian Air Force (IAF) are taking part in the exercise at Kalaikunda Air Force station here, Air Commodore S Antony, Air Officer Commanding here, said on Monday.

Apart from these, an AWACS and a refueller plane of the IAF from Agra air force station and two C130 transport aircraft each of the two air forces are also part of the exercise, he said.

The two air forces are performing air defence, air combat and attack drills as part of the exercise, the officer said.

"The joint exercises are held so that we can operate together in times to come. Both the air forces are very good. Technologically, they may be better but both are at par professionally," Antony said.

Stating that such exercises are always good and both learn from each other, the officer said the exercises are aimed at giving operational practice, learning from the best practises of USAF and interoperability.

Col Daryl Insley of USAF said while they learn from the IAF, the Indian force also learns from them.

Commending the IAF's professionalism, he said, "Their capabilities are equal to how we operate".

Lamenting that the exercise was for two weeks only, Lt Col John Delion said he wished it could be of longer duration.

"We need to continue this relationship. We need to do this more often and have more frequent engagements and not every five or 10 years," he said.

The exercise is being held from December 3 to 14.

This is the third COPE India joint exercise between the Indian and US air forces. The first one was held at Gwalior in 2004 and the second exercise was conducted here in 2005.

Tags:

India  US  Air Force  COPE  Exercise  Military  

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