US Discusses Shooting Down Chinese Balloon
Cope India 23, a bilateral air exercise between the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the United States Air Force (USAF), is now taking place at Air Force Stations Arjan Singh (Panagarh), Kalaikunda, and Agra. The exercise aims to improve mutual understanding and share best practices between the two Air Forces.
Points to Ponder:
- During his visit to India for the bilateral air exercise Cope India, General Kenneth S. Wilsbach, Commander of US Pacific Air Forces, discussed the shooting down of a Chinese spy balloon.
- In February, the US Air Force shot down a Chinese spy balloon off the coast of South Carolina after it had traveled North America for several days.
- Within a week following the occurrence, there were at least two further reports of balloon sightings.
- At least one balloon sighting has occurred above India, over the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
- General Wilsbach briefed the air chiefs on how the US Air Force handled the incident and what concerns they had when shooting down a very high and slow-moving airship, which provided some tactical challenges.
- General Wilsbach emphasized the importance of airspace sovereignty, saying that any government that breaches another country’s airspace sovereignty and does not follow international conventions should be of concern to everyone.
EXERCISE COPE INDIA 2023
- Cope India 23, a bilateral air exercise between the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the United States Air Force (USAF), is currently underway at Air Force Stations Arjan Singh (Panagarh), Kalaikunda, and Agra. The exercise aims to improve mutual understanding and share best practices between the two Air Forces.
- The first phase of the exercise began today. This component of the exercise will focus on air mobility, with transport aircraft and Special Forces assets from both Air Forces participating.
- Both sides will use C-130J and C-17 aircraft, with the USAF also using an MC-130J. The drill will also include the presence of Japanese Air Self-Defense Force airmen who will serve as observers.
- For the first time, two US Air Force B-1 long-range bombers took part in the drill.
- According to General Wilsbach, the exercise allows the two Air Forces to train together and enhance their tactics, techniques, and procedures.
- General Wilsbach emphasized the message of interoperability and collaboration between the two Air Forces.