Guam residents have been advised not to be alarmed if they see several military aircraft throughout the air this week as they are part of the Cope North 2020 Exercise.
What you may not know is that those exercises and all regional military training exercises are coordinated through the Marianas Island Range Complex.
The Mariana Islands Range Complex, or MIRC as it’s known, is used for training activities to develop war-fighting skills and maintain the constant state of readiness of military forces.
The MIRC is characterized by a unique combination of attributes including expansive airspace and expansive surface & subsurface sea-space that make it a strategically important range complex. Currently ongoing are the COPE North exercises.
Commander Jason P. Meyers, director of the Mariana Islands Range Complex, Joint Region Marianas, said COPE North is just one of the exercises coming through here.
“There are units here that do training all the time. HT-25 is a helicopter unit here. EOD Mobile Unit 5. There’s an expeditionary bombing squad that is here … so there are units always in the area looking to do their training,” he said.
The COPE North drills include, in total, over 100 aircraft from 21 flying units and 2,000 personnel with the goal of being able to work seamlessly with regional allies in the event of a crisis. The exercise runs through Feb. 28.