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News | Jan. 26, 2011

Canadian patrol crew visits NORAD

By Staff Sgt. Thomas J. Doscher NORAD and USNORTHCOM Public Affairs

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – A CP-140 Aurora crew from the 407 Long Range Patrol Squadron got a closer look at the North American Aerospace Defense Command alternate command center at Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station Jan. 18 and learned more about their role in NORAD’s maritime warning mission.

The “Demons” from the 407 Sqn flew to Peterson AFB from Canadian Forces Base Comox, British Columbia, as part of pilot upgrade training and took the opportunity to learn more about a mission they take part in daily.

The “bread and butter” of 407 Sqn are long-range maritime patrol missions, keeping watch for ships and submarines in the northern Pacific Ocean. However, they are also regularly tasked with Northern Patrols over the Arctic, counter-drug and people smuggling in support of Joint Interagency Task Force-South, identifying and tracking ocean polluters, and illegal driftnet fishing. These areas are of interest to NORAD. Canadian Air Force Capt. Daniel Klco, 407 Sqn pilot, said he wasn’t aware of how much of a role his unit played in the NORAD mission until he saw how what his aircraft provides was being used.

“From a user perspective, we were just given our orders and we’d go out and fly a mission, come back and the information goes in a box somewhere,” Klco said. “We don’t really see the results right away. After seeing the briefing, we now understand a little bit more on what’s going on, where the information is going and who’s asking for and receiving the information.”

Known mostly for its aerospace warning and control mission, NORAD took on the maritime warning mission when the NORAD Agreement was renewed in 2006. Because of the impact the maritime world has on the economies of both countries the U.S. and Canada decided to work together to enhance maritime domain awareness in the same way they do in the aerospace arena.

Canadian Lt.-Cmdr. Stephan King, NORAD Maritime Warning Division vice chief, said 407 Sqn does a lot more for the NORAD maritime mission than most people are aware of.

“The long range patrol mission of 407 Sqn is perfectly suited to supporting NORAD Maritime Warning,” he said. “They provide outstanding support to us on a regular basis through use of their specialized equipment and simply by having eyes and ears in the sky. They have been instrumental in providing critical details on activities of concern to NORAD, and we will continue to work together with them.” Klco said that thanks to this visit, his crew has a better understanding of where they fit into the NORA mission.

“Now we’ve seen where the information goes, and people have told us how important our mission is,” he said. “I was just doing my job. Now we know that those pieces of information are crucial to the overall puzzle of the whole warning picture for North America.”