Cope Thunder military exercise begins

Posted: Friday, June 07, 2002

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The largest military exercise in the Pacific began this week at Elmendorf Air Force Base.

Cope Thunder, which began Thursday, involves squadrons from Pacific Air Forces, the Air National Gaurd, Air Combat Command and the Air Force Reserve Command. Army and Navy units also are participating in the exercise.

Cope Thunder simulates wartime missions and conditions faced by pilots during real combat. It gives participants a chance to hone their combat skills and develop working relationships, according to organizers.

Cope Thunder takes place four times a year and is co-hosted by Elmendorf in Anchorage and Eielson Air Force Base in Fairbanks.

The exercise concludes June 21.

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