facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Russian fighter jets join NORAD for Vigilant Eagle exercise in Alaska

Aug. 30, 2013 at 10:44 PM   |   Comments

ANCHORAGE, Alaska, Aug. 30 (UPI) -- This year's Vigilant Eagle training exercise for Russian, U.S. and Canadian military planes over Alaska was the most ambitious so far, military leaders say.

Vigilant Eagle 13 began Monday and concluded Thursday, the Armed Forces Press Service said. The annual exercise allows pilots from the North American Aerospace Command, which includes U.S. and Canadian forces, and Russia to practice scenarios where they might have to work together to detect and track hijacked commercial planes.

The exercise was the first in which Canadian fighter jets participated, joining with their Russian counterparts in tracking a hijacked plane. Canadian Maj. Gen. Andre Viens, NORAD's operations director, said it was also the first in which the air forces worked together from start to finish instead of breaking off the tracking, leaving the job to ground sensors.

"So at no time in the past did we exercise having the Russian, Canadian or American fighters all joining up together to have a positive handoff of escort responsibility on a track of interest," Viens said. "This is what we did for the first time this year."

Viens held a joint news conference Thursday with Russian Gen. Maj. Dmitry Gomenkov, commander of the Eastern Military District of Russia's Air and Space Defense Brigade.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Most Popular
1
The UN has released its list of leaders attending climate summit The UN has released its list of leaders attending climate summit
2
Hurricane Odile now a dangerous category 4 storm Hurricane Odile now a dangerous category 4 storm
3
Mary Landrieu spent $33K of taxpayers' money on campaign travel Mary Landrieu spent $33K of taxpayers' money on campaign travel
4
Navy halts search for missing jet pilot after crash Navy halts search for missing jet pilot after crash
5
Bernie Sanders says he may run for president in 2016 Bernie Sanders says he may run for president in 2016
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback