Friday, October 23, 2009

Globemaster conducts first mission for Cope India

Two U.S. Air Force C-130 Hercules aircraft from the 36th Airlift Squadron at Yokota Air Base, Japan, parked under a Indian sunset at Air Force Station Agra, India. The aircraft along with a C-17 Globemaster III and more than 150 U.S. Air Force and Army personnel are deployed here as part of exercise Cope India, a humanitarian assistance disaster relief exercise Oct. 19 to 24. (U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Genieve David)

AIR FORCE STATION AGRA, India (AFNS) -- A C-17 Globemaster III crew conducted the first ever combined airdrop mission with Indian air force personnel here as part of exercise Cope India.

The 535th Airlift Squadron from Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, conducted a high-altitude low-opening mission with four U.S. Air Force Airmen and Soldiers and 12 Indian air force Garud operators.

"This is the first time in our partnership that we've had the United States and India forces jump out of a C-17," Capt. Billy Dye, a pilot from the 535th AS, and Greensboro, N.C. native said. "It's great that we get to share the capabilities of our aircraft with one another."

More than 160 U.S. Airmen and Soldiers, along with three C-130H Hercules, a C-17, and C-130J are participating in the exercise with an Indian air force IL-76 Gajraj, four AN-32 Sutlejes, two MI-17 Prataps and one Cheak Alouette III.

"Cope India allows our countries the ability to exchange humanitarian airlift, air land and airdrop delivery techniques," Captain Dye said. "And we look forward to continuing to foster theses great relationships that we are already making."

Cope India is an airlift exercise that focuses on the humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations. Additionally, U.S. and Indian air forces will participate in aeromedical and disaster management exercises and several subject matter expert exchanges during the exercise.