Colorado Springs, Colorado – Earlier this month, Canadian and American fighter aircraft exercised intercept and safe passage escort procedures in all three regions of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), in close collaboration with the U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM). The exercises were carefully planned and closely controlled to ensure NORAD’s rapid response capability.
The training was conducted within the Canadian NORAD Region, Alaskan NORAD Region and Continental United States NORAD Region as USSTRATCOM B-52s and B-2s conducted flights through each of the regions as part of their exercise POLAR ROAR. Intercept aircraft consisted of Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18 fighters, as well as United States Air Force F-22 and F-15 fighters.
U.S. Strategic Command’s POLAR ROAR exercise involved three non-stop sorties of three B-52 and two B-2 bomber aircraft to the Arctic, Northern Pacific and Baltic Sea to test the force’s long-range global-strike capability while training and integrating with key allies and partners.
The intercepts were conducted in order to hone NORAD procedures, cross-border interoperability and coordination, and to reinforce the enduring defense relationship between the United States and Canada.
“Our ability to conduct intercept and safe passage escort procedures to coincide with American flights reinforces Canada’s outstanding collaboration and interoperability with our closest ally. Canada and the United States continue to expand on our strong defence partnership.”
Harjit S. Sajjan, Defence Minister
“These bomber flights provided NORAD with an excellent opportunity to hone our air defense capabilities, while also allowing us the opportunity to closely coordinate our operations with our allies and the geographic combatant commands.”
Ash Carter, U.S. Secretary of Defense
- NORAD is the bi-national Canadian and American command that provides aerospace warning, aerospace control and maritime warning for Canada and the United States. The command has three subordinate regional headquarters: the Alaskan NORAD Region at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska; the Canadian NORAD Region at Canadian Forces Base Winnipeg, Manitoba; and the Continental NORAD Region at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida.
- USSTRATCOM has global strategic missions, assigned through the Unified Command Plan, which include strategic deterrence; space operations; cyberspace operations; joint electronic warfare; global strike; missile defense; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; combating weapons of mass destruction; and analysis and targeting.
- Exercise POLAR ROAR is a USSTRATCOM exercise involving B-52 Stratofortress and B-2 Spirit bombers flying missions over the United States, Canada, and parts of Europe and international air space. Strategic Bomber missions like POLAR ROAR ensure crews maintain the readiness and proficiency necessary to provide an always-ready global strike capability.