Fighter jets fly north for NORAD Exercise Amalgam Dart
CF-18s head to Inuvik, American F-15s in Yellowknife
North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) is launching its largest Arctic exercise in years today, with hundreds of military personnel and more than a dozen aircraft scattered across the Arctic for the week-long drill.
NORAD says Exercise Amalgam Dart is not your average training operation because of the sheer size of it, spanning two forward operating locations in N.W.T., two U.S. Air Force bases in Alaska and a mobile radar site in Resolute, Nunavut.
"We conduct training exercises all the time, but to take the time and deploy U.S. Forces to the north, into Canada, so we remain accustomed to working together, integrating our procedures and working out of multiple Forward Operating Locations is not something we do frequently," said Capt. Alexandre Cadieux, a spokesperson for the Canadian NORAD Region.
The exercise, which is aimed at training Canadian and American military personnel in aerospace detection and defence, will run May 25 to June 1 and involve about 300 military personnel and 15 aircraft.
The following aircraft are coming north for the exercise:
- at the Yellowknife Forward Operating Location: U.S. F-15 Eagles;
- at the Inuvik, N.W.T., Forward Operating Location: RCAF CF-18 Hornets and a CC-130T Hercules air-to-air refueller;
- in Resolute, Nunavut: a RCAF mobile radar squadron;
- at Eielson Air Force Base near Fairbanks, Alaska: U.S. KC-135 Stratotankers and a RCAF CC-150T Polaris air-to-air refueller;
- at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson near Anchorage, Alaska: U.S. F-22 fighters and E-3 Airborne Warning and Control System aircraft.
Residents in Resolute have been warned to stay at least 900 metres away from the military set-up just outside of the community, as the radar site emits hazardous radio frequencies.
Today, NORAD said the radar site's risk to public safety is minimal.