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CF-18 Fighters Intercept B-52 Bombers in Training Exercise

The Canadian NORAD Region (CANR) conducted comprehensive training with the United States Strategic Command during Exercise Polar Growl.

The training opportunities took place in support of the CANR mandate to detect, deter and defend against all threats to North America’s sovereign airspace.

“The opportunity for the Canadian NORAD Region to work with assets from US Strategic Command provided our personnel with invaluable and realistic training benefits. This training exemplifies the close relationship with our American partners towards our common goal to defend North America’s airspace,” said Major-General David Wheeler, commander Canadian NORAD region.

CANR conducted intercept and safe passage operations of two pairs of B-52 Stratofortress bombers returning from long range training flights through Canadian northern and eastern aerospace approaches.

CF-18 fighters were scrambled from 3 Wing in Bagotville, Québec, and 4 Wing in Cold Lake, Alberta, to intercept two B-52 Stratofortress bombers each in the northern and eastern extremity of the Canadian Air Defence Identification Zone (CADIZ) respectively.

The B-52 Stratofortress bombers were operating as part of Exercise Polar Growl, a separate training event under the command of United States Strategic Command.

NORAD KC-135 Stratotanker Air to Air Refuelers were launched from Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane, Washington, and from Bangor Air National Guard Base in Bangor, Maine, to provide air-to-air refueling to the Canadian jets.

The Canadian Air Defence Sector (CADS) from 22 Wing in North Bay, Ontario, conducted identification and aerospace control for the Canadian jets while they were conducting intercept training. CADS also ensured safe passage of the American B-52s through Canadian airspace once the training was completed.

“The ability for the Canadian Armed Forces and NORAD to operate effectively in Canada’s North and High Artic is a critical component in defence of our sovereign airspace. It is a challenging environment and through coordinated efforts, our men and women in uniform, including the Canadian Rangers, continuously answer the call of duty to ensure Canada is ready and able to respond to any and all potential threats,” said Associate Minister of National Defence Julian Fantino.

NORAD is a bi-national military organization that has the missions of maritime warning, aerospace warning and aerospace control for Canada and the United States.

For more than 50 years, NORAD has worked to detect, deter, and defend against all threats to sovereign Canadian airspace through a network of alert fighters, tankers, airborne early warning aircraft, and ground based air defence assets cued by interagency and defence surveillance radars.

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Vicki L Morrison

Thanks to her husband's military career Vicki reinvented herself as a writer so she could work from home, while taking care of their three kids. A former MFRC executive director Vicki is a passionate advocate for military families who loves telling their stories.

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