USA/Russia — NORAD, Russia Wrap up ‘Vigilant Eagle’

ANCHORAGE, Alas­ka, Aug. 11, 2010 — The sto­ry­line seemed to come straight from a Cold War sus­pense thriller, as North Amer­i­can Aero­space Defense Com­mand forces work­ing with their Russ­ian coun­ter­parts tracked a “hijacked” air­craft across the Pacif­ic Ocean, but this was no movie.

NORAD and the Rus­sia com­plet­ed the first joint exer­cise designed to estab­lish clear com­mu­ni­ca­tion process­es that would allow the two forces to work togeth­er dur­ing a real crisis. 

The three-day exer­cise, called “Vig­i­lant Eagle,” was an inter­na­tion­al air ter­ror­ism sce­nario con­duct­ed over the Pacif­ic Ocean con­sist­ing of forces from the Unit­ed States and Rus­sia respond­ing to the sim­u­lat­ed hijack­ing of a B‑757 en route to the Far East. NORAD’s plan­ning and exer­cise direc­torate sprear­head­ed the exercise. 

Ele­ments of the Trans­porta­tion Secu­ri­ty Administration’s oper­a­tions cen­ter, the Fed­er­al Avi­a­tion Admin­is­tra­tion, the Defense Threat Reduc­tion Agency, the 611th Air and Space Oper­a­tions Group, the 176th Air Con­trol Squadron and the Alas­ka NORAD Region made up the U.S. half of the exer­cise, while the air force nav­i­ga­tion service’s com­mu­ni­ca­tions and radiotech direc­torate, office of spe­cial trans­la­tion and inter­pre­ta­tion oper­a­tions direc­torate and the nation­al antiter­ror­ism office made up the Russ­ian half. 

“What we are prac­tic­ing today is the com­mu­ni­ca­tion pro­ce­dures between NORAD, plus U.S. civil­ian air traf­fic con­trol agen­cies and our Russ­ian coun­ter­parts so that we can pass on infor­ma­tion to them about air ter­ror­ism events to allow them to pos­ture their forces to respond in kind,” said Cana­di­an Forces Col. Todd Balfe, Alas­ka NORAD Region deputy commander. 

In the sce­nario pre­sent­ed by the exer­cise, a B‑757 jet­lin­er, sim­u­lat­ed by a Gulf­stream 4 jet, sig­naled to author­i­ties on the ground that it has been hijacked. NORAD F‑22s and an E‑3 Sen­try air­borne warn­ing and con­trol air­craft scram­bled in response and fol­lowed the track of inter­est across the Pacif­ic, hand­ing it off to Russ­ian fight­ers as it approached Russ­ian ter­ri­to­ry. On the sec­ond day of the exer­cise, it was done in reverse, with SU-27 fight­ers mak­ing the hand-off to F‑22s as the “hijacked” air­craft approached Alas­ka. Air Force Lt. Col. John Oberst, 176th ACS oper­a­tions offi­cer, said the very fact that NORAD and Russ­ian forces were work­ing togeth­er in this exer­cise made it a suc­cess. “This exer­cise is one mile­stone in work­ing togeth­er in oth­er future efforts,” he said. “Our folks are proud to be a part of such an impor­tant event and are pas­sion­ate about par­tak­ing in efforts to pro­tect our borders.” 

Russ­ian air force Col. Alexan­der Vasi­lyev, deputy direc­tor of secu­ri­ty and safe­ty, said that despite the fric­tion the two coun­tries have had in years past, it is impor­tant for them to work togeth­er to com­bat the dan­gers of air terrorism. 

“Ter­ror­ism is some­thing that affects all our coun­tries,” he said. “So it is very impor­tant that we work togeth­er to devel­op pro­ce­dures and bring the rela­tion­ship between our coun­tries clos­er togeth­er to unite our coun­tries in the fight against terrorism.” 

Source:
U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

More news and arti­cles can be found on Face­book and Twitter.

Fol­low GlobalDefence.net on Face­book and/or on Twit­ter

Team GlobDef

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist GlobalDefence.net im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. GlobalDefenc.net war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →