Vigilant Shield

The Air Force employed ground-based radars and air defense missile systems along with Army, Navy, Coast Guard, and Canadian military assets in a force-wide mainland defense exercise, coordinated from command posts at Key West, Fla., and Peterson AFB, Colo. “The scenario for the exercise is based on potential military threats to the United States and Canada that require extensive military planning to provide a range of military options to our national leadership,” said Army Gen. Charles Jacoby, commander of US Northern Command, in a release. The NORTHCOM and North American Aerospace Defense Command exercise, conducted Nov. 1-10, coordinates other simultaneous exercises to expand its scope and realism. Participants also work with the FAA to integrate detection of real air traffic over Washington D.C. into the combined training. “Homeland defense is our most important mission, and it’s a sacred trust” owed to US and Canadian citizens, said Jacoby.