NATO, Russia Test Anti-Hijack Info Sharing

NATO and Russian air controllers tested their ability to share information and coordinate responding to a terrorist hijacking in three geographic areas during the computer-based Vigilant Skies 2012 exercise earlier this month, said alliance officials. The event was part of the NATO-Russia Council’s Cooperative Airspace Initiative. During the Nov 13-14 exercise, allied control centers in Ankara, Turkey; Bodø, Norway; and Warsaw, Poland, practiced data exchanges with Russian control centers in the respective neighboring regions of Rostov-on-Don, Murmansk, and Kaliningrad using the NATO-Russia Information Exchange System, according to NATO’s release. NATO and Russian officials oversaw the exercise in CAI coordination centers in Warsaw and Moscow, respectively. IES went operational for the first time after last year’s Vigilant Skies exercise. Continuing the gradual build up of cooperation, the NATO-Russia Council is planning for a possible live-fly exercise over the Black Sea in 2013, states NATO’s release. (See also Atlantic Council release.)