Cope India 2019: India, US air exercise to be held in West Bengal
The air force units of the US and India are going to participate in Exercise COPE INDIA 2019 (CI19), a bilateral flying training programme, next month at two crucial airbases in West Bengal: Air Force Station Kalaikunda in West Midnapore and Air Force Station Arjan Singh at Panagarh in Burdwan.
The exercise will be held from December 3 to 14.
While Air Force Station Kalaikunda is an important training air base for the IAF, Air Force Station Arjan Singh at Panagarh has the second squadron of the C130J Super Hercules aircraft. The first squadron of the C130J Super Hercules is based at Hindon.
COPE INDIA began in 2004 as a fighter training exercise held at Air Force Station Gwalior. The exercise included flight tests, practice and demonstrations as well as lectures on subjects related to aviation. The exercise has evolved to incorporate subject matter expert exchanges, air mobility training, airdrop training and large-force exercises, in addition to fighter-training exercises. The exercise was last held in 2010.
Around 200 US airmen with 15 aircraft from the 18th Wing at Kadena Air Base in Japan and 182 Airlift Wing of the Illinois Air National Guard will participate in CI19 alongside their IAF counterparts.