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NORAD, U.S., Canada to conduct defense exercise this week

By Tauren Dyson
NORAD, U.S., Canada to conduct defense exercise this week
Two NORAD F-22 “Raptor” fighter jets positively identified and intercepted two Russian Tu-95 “Bear” bombers at approximately 10 p.m. EDT Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018. Photo courtesy of North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command

Oct. 23 (UPI) -- NORAD and U.S. Northern Command will partner with the Canadian Joint Operations Command to conduct their 13th annual homeland defense exercise, Vigilant Shield 19, from their home bases at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado on Oct. 24-28, 2018.

The rapid response event will deploy more than 5,500 personnel across air, land, maritime, space and cyber to test and grade the ability of NORAD, USNORTHCOM and the Canadian Joint Operations Command to defend the homeland during an attack, U.S. Northern Command said on Tuesday.

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The event is a Command Post Exercise that uses simulated forces and requires the commander, staff and communications to operate within and between headquarters.

NORAD is a bi-national command shared by the U.S. and Canada, in charge of aerospace warning and control missions over North America.

USNORTHCOM brings together the U.S. Army North, U.S. Navy North, U.S. Marine Forces North and Special Operations Command North to defend the homeland, and cooperates with civil support and security to protect and secure U.S. interests.

In September, NORAD and USNORTHCOM teamed up to support FEMA during the aftermath of Hurricane Florence.

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"The homeland is no longer a sanctuary and conducting exercises like Vigilant Shield is just one example of the many active measures taken every day by NORAD and USNORTHCOM as we continue enhancing our ability to defend our nations," Air Force Gen. Terrence O'Shaughnessy, NORAD and USNORTHCOM Commander, said in a statement.

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