Exercise Cope North:The Commander’s Eyes and Ears On the Ground


THE Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Number 4 Squadron Combat Control Team has the important job of being the first on the ground to assess the viability for aircraft and personnel arrival. 

During Exercise COPE NORTH, Number 4 Squadron worked with United States Air Force (USAF) and Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) to enhance the air and ground crew’s ability to work together. 

The RAAF Combat Control Team is comprised of Combat Controllers who have specialist skills in reconnaissance, assault zone control and clearance of an airfield. 

Combat Controllers provide a range of capabilities, including declaring a landing zone safe for aircraft to land, meteorology observation and controlling air strikes from the ground. During training activities at Exercise COPE NORTH, the RAAF Combat Control Team practiced two types of airfield insertions into Baker Airfield at Tinian Island. 

The team conducted tactical air land operations by ground via a JASDF C-130H Hercules and practised parachuting from USAF C-130J Hercules aircraft. 

The Number 4 Squadron Detachment Commander explained that the Combat Control Team play a critical role in securing the ground for advanced force arrival.

Australian Department of Defence

March 5, 2019