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News | May 9, 2012

ARDENT SENTRY 2012: An Exercise in Working Together

By NORAD and USNORTHCOM Public Affairs

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. - North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command completed ARDENT SENTRY 2012, a major yearly exercise focused on Defense Support of Civil Authorities from May 2 – 9, 2012.

The exercise included the simulation of a wide variety of scenarios in locations spanning the whole continent.
Up north, Joint Task Force Alaska responded when a C-130 Coast Guard aircraft crashed in a remote area of Alaska while responding to a two-ship collision off the Arctic coast. In North Dakota, tornado damage to a military aircraft caused local and federal authorities to respond to a nuclear weapon incident at Minot Air Force Base. On the eastern seaboard, Canadian and U.S. Navy personnel were called to clear the harbor of mines in Groton, Connecticut and Sydney, Nova Scotia. In Oregon, and Texas, the National Guard and NORTHCOM coordinated defense support to civil authorities following a major tornado in Oregon and a Category 4 hurricane along the U.S. – Mexico border.

The various simulated scenarios were selected as a means to exercise the high degree of cooperation and collaboration required between NORAD and USNORTHCOM and Canadian, Mexican and U.S. partner agencies, such as Canada Command, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Mexico’s Army and Air Force (SEDENA), the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Emergency Management Agency, the FBI, local and state law enforcement agencies and National Guard assets.

“The security and defense of North America are a shared responsibility and a collaborative effort,” said NORAD and USNORTHCOM Commander, General Chuck Jacoby. “ARDENT SENTRY 12 confirmed that our trusted partnerships are the key for a successful response to disasters or security threats to our nations.”

“ARDENT SENTRY 12 culminated a year of planning and partnership building with our Mexican and Canadian counterparts,” said Mr. Joe Bonnet, NORAD and USNORTHCOM Training and Exercise Director. “We continue to build on our fifty-plus year military relationship with Canada. And, we are very excited with the progress that has been made in our relationship with Mexico, while always respecting each other's sovereignty. The coordination between USNORTHCOM, our components, and our neighbors to the north and south during the complex and realistic environment of the exercise reaffirms our commitment and ability to save lives and protect our shared interests when disaster strikes.”

For further information, please contact NORAD and USNORTHCOM Public Affairs at (719) 554-6889 or visit our Web sites at or

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