The United States and Canada are holding an air defense exercise over the hotly-contested Arctic region to demonstrate their ability to defend against aggression, officials said.
The exercises are being conducted under the authority of the joint North American Aerospace Defense Command. As a bi-national command, NORAD is drawing on forces from both countries to “respond to increased Russian military activity along the periphery of both nations,” officials said.
The operation is spanning all three NORAD regions - Alaska, the continental U.S. and Canada. Fighter jets from both nations will conduct air defense operations with support from an E-3 Airborne Warning and Control System aircraft along with KC-135 and CC-150T refueling tankers, The exercises, scheduled to run through Tuesday, are under the operational control of the Canadian NORAD region.
“Coordinated and partnered bi-national operations such as this are vital to the continued defense of North America,” said Maj. Gen. Eric Kenny, Canadian NORAD Region commander. “This extensive operation shows the ironclad relationship that exists within the NORAD team. We stand ready to deter and defeat threats along our approaches.”
NORAD has implemented preventative health measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Any U.S. troops participating in the exercise required two negative tests prior to arriving in Canada. All military personnel at forward operating locations will be isolated on base.