Swift response validates Cope North partnerships

Department of Defence

During Exercise Cope North 24, Royal Australian Air Force and United States Air Force assets and personnel were rapidly re-tasked to respond to a real-world aeromedical evacuation (AE).

This included a bilateral medical team from Australia and the US, and a RAAF C-27J Spartan, that flew to Micronesia to extract a US service member requiring medical care in Guam.

Detachment Commander 35 Squadron Flight Lieutenant Calum Jackson, a C-27J pilot, commended the multinational teamwork that expedited the successful AE mission.

“Multiple members of the multinational task force and 35 Squadron detachment worked tirelessly while the plane was en route to ensure all the diplomatic and medical processes were completed,” Flight Lieutenant Jackson said.

“Overall, it was a very challenging mission which could only be achieved through a combined effort of multiple different teams.”

The 35 Squadron crew and medical personnel were planning to conduct AE training as part of Cope North when they were informed of the real-world situation.

Personnel had to rapidly pivot to re-plan the new mission, considering crew duty limitations and saving time by configuring the aircraft during the transit to Micronesia.

C-27J loadmaster Corporal Deniele Oehm said it was all hands on deck to assist with loading the aircraft and ensuring the crew had everything they needed for the flight.

“Seeing all the different teams work together to achieve an outcome in such short notice shows the importance of these multinational training exercises,” Corporal Oehm said.

“It is moments like these that we train for and that are the most rewarding aspects of the job.”

The US service member remained in a stable condition throughout the AE and received the necessary medical care thanks to the swift response of the Cope North multilateral force.

Commander of the Australian contingent Group Captain Kylie Green said: “Alongside our US counterparts, RAAF personnel and assets conducted an agile, safe and successful AE, demonstrating why exercises like Cope North 24 are so important.”

“We continue to build our integration and strengthen partnerships to ensure our people can respond to real-world situations and save lives,” she said.

/Public Release. View in full here.