North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) will conduct an air defense exercise in the Arctic region from August 17 to 21, ranging from the Beaufort Sea to Thule, Greenland.
The exercise will see the participation of Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) CF-18 Hornet fighter aircraft, CP-140 Aurora long-range patrol aircraft , and a CC-150T Polaris aerial refueling aircraft; as well as U.S. Air Force (USAF) F-15 Eagle fighter aircraft, KC-10 Extender aerial refueler, and C-17 Globemaster III strategic transport aircraft. The exercise will be based out of 4 Wing Cold Lake, Alberta; and Yellowknife, Northwest Territories in Canada.
Exercise flights will be conducted over sparsely populated Arctic areas and at high altitudes.
NORAD routinely conducts exercises with a variety of scenarios including airspace restriction violations, hijackings and responses to unknown aircraft.
“NORAD carefully plans and closely controls all exercises. This air defense exercise provides us the opportunity to hone our skills as Canadian and U.S. forces operate together with our allies and partners in the Arctic,”said a NORAD statement.
NORAD has implemented preventative measures including regular hand sanitation, physical distancing, and wearing of face masks in situations where physical distancing is not possible to mitigate potential risk of exposure to novel coronavirus (COVID-19) by military members and the local population. In addition, participating U.S. military personnel require two negative COVID-19 tests prior to arriving in Canada, and all military personnel positioned at forward operating locations will be isolated on the base.
For more than 60 years, NORAD has identified and intercepted potential air threats to North America through the execution of the command’s aerospace warning and aerospace control missions. NORAD also keeps watch over Canadian and U.S. internal waterways and maritime approaches under its maritime warning mission.