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Yokota’s airframes demonstrate HA/DR capabilities at Cope North

Yokota’s airframes demonstrate HA/DR capabilities at Cope North

Staff Sgt. David Francis, 18th Aeromedical Evacuation (AE) Squadron AE technician, secures medical equipment for a flight during exercise COPE NORTH 2018, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, Feb. 19. COPE NORTH enhances U.S. relations with regional allies and partners by demonstrating resolve to promote security and stability throughout the Indo-Pacific. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Juan Torres Chardon)

Yokota’s airframes demonstrate HA/DR capabilities at Cope North

Master Sgt. Tara Bryant, 349th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron AE technician, inspects equipment before a flight during exercise COPE NORTH 2018, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, Feb. 19. COPE NORTH allows U.S. and allied forces to practice humanitarian aid and disaster relief efforts to prepare for and recover from the devastating effects of natural disasters. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Juan Torres Chardon)

Yokota’s airframes demonstrate HA/DR capabilities at Cope North

Maj. Catherine Paterson, 439th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron flight nurse, signals simulated patients to board a C-130J Super Hercules during exercise COPE NORTH 2018, at Rota, U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Feb. 19. COPE NORTH allows U.S. and allied forces to practice humanitarian aid and disaster relief efforts to prepare for and recover from the devastating effects of natural disasters.(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Juan Torres Chardon)

Yokota’s airframes demonstrate HA/DR capabilities at Cope North

Master Sgt. Tara Bryant (left), 349th Aeromedical Evacuation (AE) Squadron AE technician, briefs two simulated patients before a flight during exercise COPE NORTH 2018 at Tinian, U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Feb. 19. COPE NORTH allows U.S. and allied forces to practice humanitarian aid and disaster relief efforts to prepare for and recover from the devastating effects of natural disasters. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Juan Torres Chardon)

Yokota’s airframes demonstrate HA/DR capabilities at Cope North

Capt. Wayne Pernell, 18th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron flight nurse, waits for simulated patients to board a C-130J Super Hercules during exercise COPE NORTH 2018 at Rota, U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Feb. 19. COPE NORTH allows U.S. and allied forces to practice humanitarian aid and disaster relief efforts to prepare for and recover from the devastating effects of natural disasters (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Juan Torres Chardon)

Yokota’s airframes demonstrate HA/DR capabilities at Cope North

Airmen assigned to the 349th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron secure a patient for transport during exercise COPE NORTH 2018 at Rota, U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Feb. 19. COPE NORTH allows U.S. and allied forces to practice humanitarian aid and disaster relief efforts to prepare for and recover from the devastating effects of natural disasters. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Juan Torres Chardon)

Yokota’s airframes demonstrate HA/DR capabilities at Cope North

Airmen assigned to the 18th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron practice medical procedures inside a C-12J Huron, assigned to the 459th Airlift Squadron, during exercise COPE NORTH 2018 at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, Feb. 20. COPE NORTH allows U.S. and allied forces to practice humanitarian aid and disaster relief efforts to prepare for and recover from the devastating effects of natural disasters. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Juan Torres Chardon)

Yokota’s airframes demonstrate HA/DR capabilities at Cope North

A pilot assigned to the 459th Airlift Squadron wears a Cope North 2018 patch, Feb. 20, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. Cope North enhances U.S. relations with our regional allies and partners by demonstrating our resolve to promote security and stability throughout the Indo-Pacific. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Juan Torres Chardon)

Andersen Air Force Base, Guam -- U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules and C-12J Huron aircrews, assigned to Yokota Air Base, Japan, participate in COPE NORTH 2018 (CN18) at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, Feb. 11 to Mar. 2.

During the humanitarian assistance/disaster relief portion of CN18, one of the primary training objectives for both aircraft is aeromedical evacuation.

"Aeromedical evacuations are a big C-130 platform in the U.S," said Maj. Cerre Dolby, C-130J evaluator pilot. "Out in the Pacific, or at least in Yokota, it's primarily a C-12 mission. Usually there's one or two people that need treatment and the C-12s are launched. During a big HA/DR exercise, there's more people that need movement than what the C-12 can support and that's when they call the C-130Js"

This year's HA/DR scenario included a simulated earthquake on Tinian, U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands, which allowed the Yokota-based crew to prepare for possible real-life emergencies.

"It's been incumbent upon us to figure out what these people need as far as supplies in these hypothetical scenarios," said Dolby. "It's given us, as an aircrew, some insight on how we work together and how we're going to put these litters and patients on our aircraft."

While CN18 allowed the Yokota C-130J aircrews a rare opportunity to participate in a multinational AE exercise, this kind of mission is a common occurrence for C-12 crews at their home station. However, CN18 provides an opportunity for the C-12 crews to bolster this capability alongside partners in the region.

"CN18 is essential, not only to increase interoperability with allied nations, but also to better our understanding of medical procedures performed during our AE missions," said Maj. Lane Riddell, 459AS C-12 mission commander. "It provides a training ground to learn from others, which enables us to potentially help more patients."

COPE NORTH began in 1978 as a quarterly bilateral exercise held at Misawa Air Base, Japan, and moved here in 1999. Today, the annual exercise serves as an opportunity to promote stability and security throughout the Indo-Pacific by enabling regional forces to hone vital readiness skills and increase interoperability.