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Fact Sheet Article View

FACTSHEET | Feb. 8, 2022


The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) conducts sustained, dispersed operations under Operation NOBLE DEFENDER (OND) across the North American continent, through one or all NORAD regions (Alaska, Canada, and Continental U.S.). 

Designated as an operation first in 2018, each consecutive OND strengthens and progresses the NORAD mission of aerospace warning, aerospace control, and maritime warning. U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) contributes additional capabilities to OND events, to enhance integrated deterrence across strategic opportunities. 

Each consecutive Operation NOBLE DEFENDER validates and strengthens the NORAD mission of aerospace warning, aerospace control, and maritime warning. It demonstrates that NORAD can launch at a moment’s notice from dispersed locations and defend North America from any and all approaches.  

USNORTHCOM contributes additional capabilities to Operation NOBLE DEFENDER events to enhance integrated deterrence across strategic opportunities. 

Notifications for these operations are published from NORAD social media accounts: Facebook and Twitter

September 2023 - North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command forces conducted maneuvers Aug. 15-Sept. 10, 2023, as part of Operation NOBLE DEFENDER, a long-planned, bi-national operation in Alaska. The operation reinforced the capability of both American and Canadian forces in detecting, deterring, and safeguarding against potential threats to North America and the Arctic Region, all while operating in the most challenging conditions. In addition to NORAD jet fighters, airborne early warning and tanker aircrarft, ground and naval forces to include special operations forces participated in this iteration of OND.

June 2023 - This iteration was the final leg of a greater collaborative effort among multiple nations including the U.K., Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Canada and the United States. 

March 2023 - Continental U.S. NORAD Region coordinated the launch of the NORAD F-15 Eagles from the Louisiana Air National Guard's 159th Fighter Wing and a NORAD E-3 Airborne Warning and Controls System aircraft to conduct intercept operations with a B-52 Stratofortress bomber as it entered the contiguous U.S. Air Defense Identification Zone off the coast of New Orleans. 

January 2023 - American and Canadian personnel and aircraft from all three NORAD Regions deployed to Thule Air Base (now known as Pituffik Space Base), Greenland, Iqaluit Forward Operating Location, Nunavut, 5 Wing Goose Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador, and from Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. The operation involved approximately 225 American and Canadian personnel supporting and operating four F-35s, three CF-18s, four KC-135s, one CC-150, one E-3, and one CH-149. 

October 2022 – The Canadian NORAD Region conducted operations over the Beaufort Sea, in northern Canada. Later in the month, military aircraft from the Continental U.S. NORAD Region and the Canadian NORAD Region launched simultaneously to demonstrate NORAD’s layered defense off the northeast coast of the United States. 

September 2022 - Military aircraft from the three NORAD regions conducted defensive maneuvers along the northern and western approaches to North America. Most flights were conducted over sparsely populated Arctic and Pacific areas.  

July 2022 - The Continental NORAD Region coordinated and conducted joint operations with the U.S. Navy while concurrently launching jets from different locations across the United States' gulf coast and Puerto Rico. 

March 2022 - Crews from the three NORAD Regions responded simultaneously across the Arctic to simulated threats represented by bombers from United States Strategic Command. This iteration of Operation NOBLE DEFENDER incorporated support from Denmark allowing air defense operations from Thule Air Base (now known as Pituffik Space Base), Greenland. 

October 2021 – The Alaskan NORAD Region hosted aircraft from the Canadian NORAD Region during an air defense operation. Simultaneously, forces from the Special Operations Command North  trained at Shemya Island, Alaska, demonstrating maritime infiltration, off-road mobility, special reconnaissance, remote communications, close quarters battle, and medical evacuation techniques. 

April 2021 -  NORAD F-15s and KC-135s from the Continental NORAD Region flew simultaneously on the east and west coasts of the United States simulating air defense of ports in San Francisco, California and Wilmington, North Carolina. 

Current a/o Sept. 7, 2023