An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Press Releases
Press Release | Sept. 20, 2020

NORAD conducting air defense operations over Arctic region

NORAD Public Affairs


North American Aerospace Defense Command is conducting a dynamic force employment operation in the Arctic Sept. 20-23 to demonstrate NORAD’s air capability, readiness and will to defend the United States and Canada from competitors who continue to test our defenses.

As a bi-national command, NORAD is drawing on forces from both countries to respond to increased Russian military activity along the periphery of both nations.

“As competitors seek to bolster their presence and increase military operations in the Arctic, NORAD remains vigilant and ready to protect the sovereign airspace of Canada and the United States to detect, deter and defeat against potential threats to our air and maritime approaches,” said Gen. Glen D. VanHerck, NORAD commander.

The broad operation spans all three NORAD regions, including continental U.S., Alaska, and Canada. F-22, CF-18 and F-16 fighter aircraft will conduct air defense operations with support from an E-3 Airborne Warning and Control System aircraft, and KC-135 and CC-150T refueling tankers. These operations, under the operational control of Canadian NORAD Region, will demonstrate agile and dynamic force employment to and from critical NORAD forward operating locations along North America’s northern approaches.

“Coordinated and partnered bi-national operations such as this are vital to the continued defense of North America,” said Major-General Eric Kenny, Canadian NORAD Region commander. “This extensive operation shows the iron-clad relationship that exists within the NORAD team. We stand ready to deter and defeat threats along our approaches.”

NORAD addresses threats to North America while maintaining a heightened awareness of potential impacts and challenges of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). To protect both service members and local populations, NORAD will implement preventative measures specific to this operation. Participating U.S. service members require two negative COVID-19 tests prior to arriving in Canada; and all military personnel positioned at forward operating locations will be isolated on base.