CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN AFS, Colo. – The North American Aerospace Defense Command shall deploy fighter aircraft as necessary to Forward Operating Locations (FOLS) in Alaska and Northern Canada to monitor a Russian air force exercise in the Russian arctic and North Pacific ocean.
“NORAD is the eyes and ears of North America and it is our mission to ensure that our air sovereignty is maintained,” said Lieutenant-General Ken Pennie, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of NORAD. “Although it is highly unlikely that Russian aircraft would purposely violate Canadian or American airspace, our mission of vigilance must be sustained.”
NORAD-allocated forces will remain in place until the end of the Russian exercise.
NORAD conducted operation Northern Denial from December 1 to 14, 2000 in response to a similar, but smaller scale, Russian deployment of long-range bombers at northern Russian air bases. NORAD-allocated forces were deployed to three FOLS, two in Alaska and one in Canada. More than 350 American and Canadian military men and women were in involved in the deployment.