Tuesday, January 8, 2013

USAF submits proposal to NMI ports authority

Pilots relax from the surge operations of USMC's Operation Geiger Fury in May 2012. PHOTO BY Alexie Villegas Zotomayor / M.Variety

USAF submits proposal to NMI ports authority
By Alexie Villegas Zotomayor
Variety News Staff
THE U.S. Air Force has turned in its proposal to the Commonwealth Ports Authority with regard to its planned exercise on Tinian next month.

CPA Tinian Resident Director Joseph M. Mendiola told Variety yesterday, “Yes they confirmed. They submitted their scope of work which is being reviewed now by CPA executive director and FAA.”

He also said that the scope of work will also go through the CPA board for approval.
Variety earlier reported that the U.S. Air Force had indicated interest in holding an exercise on Tinian but on a smaller scale compared to the recently concluded U.S. Marine Marine Aircraft Group-12, Marine Wing Support Squadron – 171 expeditionary exercise Forager Fury 2012.

Mendiola said that based on the submitted scope, the U.S. Air Force exercise Cope North slated for Feb. 5-7 “is mostly loading and unloading of cargoes.”

“There will be an average of 10 flights a day,” said Mendiola for the three-day exercise.
Asked how many U.S. Air Force personnel will be on the ground, Mendiola said, “It comprises of 8-12 individuals who will be stationed at the staging area.”

He said the activities will be mostly airlift and offloading involving C-130 aircraft.

He also said that the Air Force personnel will be conducting the exercise in the same area where Forager Fury 2012 was held last month.

“They will be stationed at the hot refueling area at the west end of Taxiway A,” said Mendiola.

He also confirmed that based on the scope of work submitted, there will be no refueling of aircraft on Tinian.

Last month, the Marines issued about 87,000 gallons of fuel to about 27 aircraft.

Meanwhile, in release, the U.S. Air Force has confirmed the staging of Cope North 2013 exercise at Andersen Air Force Base that will involve the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, Japan Self-Defense Force and the Royal Australian Air Force.

Variety learned that the exercise is set for Feb. 14-15.

“Cope North is the latest in a long-standing, multilateral exercise designed to enhance each countries' air operations. Additionally, the exercise includes humanitarian assistance and disaster relief training objectives for the USAF, JASDF and RAAF,” said the release.

Close to 2,000 military personnel will be participating in the said exercise.

“The U.S. will have approximately 1,000 participants, the JASDF approximately 450 participants, and the RAAF approximately 300 participants,” the USAF release stated.

It added that the first week will consist of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief training, along with air combat training and air-to-ground weapons training. During the second part of the exercise, the focus will shift to dissimilar air combat tactics, strike mission training, and large force employment training.

The release also mentioned that the JASDF squadrons will conduct surface attack training on the Farallon de Medinilla Range. “Since the first Cope North exercise in 1978 at Misawa Air Base, Japan, thousands of American and Japanese airmen have honed skills that are vital to maintaining a high level of readiness.”

According to the U.S. Air Force, this will be the second time that the Royal Australian Air Force will be joining the multilateral exercise that “will further strengthen regional partner interoperability.”

They also confirmed that the Republic of Korea Air Force will be sending representatives for the first time to observe the humanitarian assistance and disaster relief portion of the training.

Now on its 84th year, Exercise Cope North is held annually.

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