The Cope North exercises tests allied capacity to cooperate in providing Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief in the Pacfic.
According to a recent piece published on the Japanese Ministry of Defense website, the role of Japan was highlighted in the exercise:
The ASDF took part in the trilateral combat training as well as Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HA/DR) exercise together with the U.S. Air Force (USAF) and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) from January 27th to March 12th at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam.
The exercise Cope North Guam seeks to enhance tactical combat skills of the ASDF units and the joint response capabilities of U.S. and Japan forces.
It also provides opportunities for the ASDF to improve interoperability with the USAF and RAAF in the HA/DR activities.
This trilateral exercise involved 460 personnel from the ASDF Air Defense Command and ASDF Air Support Command as well as aircraft such as the F-2A, F-15J/DJ, U-125A, E-2C, C-130H and KC-767.
For the HA/DR component, 64 ASDF personnel and two C-130H aircraft participated in the training involving airlift, airdrop of supplies, takeoff and landings on uneven surfaces, searching operations, and the aeromedical evacuations.
The ASDF units have taken part in Cope North Guam since 1999, with this year marking the 15th time.
The RAAF started participating in the exercise since 2011, making it the fourth time the Japan-U.S.-Australia trilateral training of its kind was held.