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NORAD running aerial operations over Beaufort Sea today

NORAD is conducting joint operations over the Beaufort Sea today.
Two RCAF CF-18s join a U.S. Air Force B-52 Bomber and an F-22 during a mission that flew over the Beaufort Sea mid-June, 2020. NORAD running aerial operations over the Beaufort Sea today. NNSL file photo

NORAD is conducting joint operations over the Beaufort Sea today.

A notification was sent out shortly after 11 a.m. Sept. 13.

“North American Aerospace Defense Command will conduct a planned live-fly air defense exercise over the Beaufort Sea, off the coast of the Northwest Territories today,” reads the notice. “NORAD CF-18s and a CC-130 will participate in the exercise. Aircraft will operate at approximately 29,000 feet, and will not likely be visible to the public except in the vicinity of Inuvik during landing and take-off.

“To test responses, systems and equipment, NORAD routinely conducts air defense exercises using a variety of scenarios, including airspace restriction violations, hijackings and responding to unknown aircraft. All NORAD exercises are carefully planned and are closely controlled.”

Inuvik is host to a NORAD Forward Operating Base, which is used in conjunction with air force operations in the Arctic.

The joint operation begins just as the Canadian Forces Operation Nanook-Nanakput wrapped up Sept. 9.

That operation involved the HMCS Harry de Wolf conducting maritime operations while the 22nd Vingt Deuxième Regiment Du Canada, part of the 2nd Canadian Division group, completed land operations in conjunction with the 1st Canadian Ranger Patrol Group. Joining Canadian Special Forces on the de Wolf were U.S. Special Operations Forces. A number of ships from the U.S. Navy were involved in the operation, including the Los Angeles-class submarine USS San Juan (SSN 751) and Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (UUV) Flotilla 1 (UUVFLOT 1), both deployed in the Arctic for the first time. The USS Oscar Austin (DDG 79) and the U.S. naval maritime patrol squadrons VP-10 Red Lancers and VP-45 Pelicans were also active during the operation.

Ships from the French Navy, Royal Danish Navy and U.S. Coast Guard also participated in the operation. In the air, CP-140 Aurora long-range patrol aircraft, CH-138 Twin Otters and a CH-147 Chinook helicopter supported the operation.

“We value the opportunity to work together with Allies and partners in the Arctic on exercises like Operation Nanook,” said U.S. 2nd Fleet vice commander Rear Adm. David Patchell. “As a Canadian, I have the privilege of working within a U.S. numbered fleet and am confident that, collectively, we have the resources and the will required to provide security and defense of North America— we are truly stronger together.”

About the Author: Eric Bowling

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