NORAD and US Northern Command are partnering with the Mexican Air Force in Amalgam Eagle 16, a tactical exercise designed to improve mutual warning and information sharing in a cooperative response to an illegal flight that crosses the US-Mexican border. The July 26-28 exercise also involves the FAA, the Air and Marine Operations Center, and the Transportation Security Administration on the US side, as well as Mexico’s Civil Aviation Authority and Air Traffic Control Agency. The exercise objectives include facilitating cooperation between the US and Mexican defense agencies, exercising and refining procedures for providing mutual warning and passing of information on a cross-border illicit flight, establishing and testing military-civilian procedures for responding to such a flight, and employing a start-to-finish process for air interdiction from intelligence to resolution. Exercise activities consist of flights by a variety of aircraft capable of detection and interception, deployment of observers on both sides of the border, establishing communications channels to enhance reaction time, and strengthening the links among the participating entities, according to a July 26 release.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.