September 23, 2020

Arctic NORAD Exercise Underway


The RCAF base at Happy Valley/Goose Bay in Labrador is seeing a lot of action in the air these days as a NORAD exercise, involving jet interceptors and other aircraft from both the RCAF and the US Air Force, is being based.

“This air defence 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,” a news release from the Department of National Defense (DND) read, adding that “NORAD routinely conducts operations with a variety of scenarios including airspace restriction violations, hijackings, and responses to unknown aircraft.”

However, the Americans were a little more forthright. Citing Russian aircraft that were spotted close to North American airspace last week, NORAD commander General Glen VanHerck said, “As competitors seek to bolster their presence and increase military operations in the Arctic, NORAD remains vigilant and ready to protect the sovereign airspace of Canada and the United States to detect, deter and defeat potential threats to our air and maritime approaches.”

All visiting personnel, including the Americans, will be kept in separate ‘tight bubbles’ as a precaution to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“5 Wing Goose Bay has worked closely with Newfoundland and Labrador public health officials to ensure all recommended COVID mitigation protocols are in place,” according to the DND press release.

Photo credit: NORAD