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US and Canadian Armed Forces Sharpen Abilities in Austere Alaskan Region

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US and Canadian Armed Forces Sharpen Abilities in Austere Alaskan Region

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US and Canadian Armed Forces Sharpen Abilities in Austere Alaskan Region
US and Canadian Armed Forces Sharpen Abilities in Austere Alaskan Region

Air, ground and naval forces from the United States and Canada under the authority of the North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command successfully completed maneuvers near Shemya, Attu and St. Lawrence Island, Alaska, September 10, as part of a long-planned, bi-national operation to detect, deter and safeguard against potential threats to North America and the Arctic region. Forces in support of Operation Noble Defender, an operation supporting the NORAD and USNORTHCOM Homeland Defense Campaign plan, demonstrated their ability to operate in the dynamic Arctic region including unfavorable weather and the austere environment.

Operation Noble Defender included USNORTHCOM air, ground, naval and special forces components conducting Operation Polar Dagger, designed to integrate joint special operations units and test new capabilities while defending critical infrastructure, enhancing all-domain awareness and strengthening the force’s understanding of the region.
USNORTHCOM contributes additional capabilities to Operation Noble Defender events to enhance integrated deterrence across strategic opportunities. Operation Noble Defender also included an air component, Operation Polar Arrow, to demonstrate the ability to deploy assets in concert with special operations elements, as well as the ability to maintain air sovereignty over North America.

East coast based U.S. Naval Special Warfare Operators, SEALs, engages with an AC-130J Ghostrider as the aircraft conducts a flyover on Attu Island, Alaska, Aug. 31, 2023, as part of Operation Polar Dagger. During the operation, special operations forces projected the ability of U.S. forces to defend critical infrastructure, enhanced all-domain awareness, demonstrated operational reach, and strengthened the understanding of activity in the Arctic region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Matthew Dickinson)
East coast based U.S. Naval Special Warfare Operators, SEALs, engages with an AC-130J Ghostrider as the aircraft conducts a flyover on Attu Island, Alaska, Aug. 31, 2023, as part of Operation Polar Dagger. During the operation, special operations forces projected the ability of U.S. forces to defend critical infrastructure, enhanced all-domain awareness, demonstrated operational reach, and strengthened the understanding of activity in the Arctic region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Matthew Dickinson)
flyover on Attu Island, Alaska, Aug. 31, 2023, as part of Operation POLAR DAGGER. During the operation, special operations forces projected the ability of U.S. forces to defend critical infrastructure, enhanced all-domain awareness, demonstrated operational reach, and strengthened our understanding of activity in the Arctic. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Matthew Dickinson)

Gen. Glen VanHerck, commander of NORAD and USNORTHCOM said,“As the environment continues to change, interest in the Arctic region increases and that makes the ability to execute operations there more important than ever. As strategic competitors take advantage of greater access and influence in the region, NORAD and USNORTHCOM must demonstrate the readiness and capability to persistently operate in the arctic,” he said. “Access to ready forces, trained and equipped to operate in the arctic is vital to the defense of North America and ensuring a peaceful and prosperous region.”

United States and Canadian North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) assets such as Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcons, McDonnell Douglas CF-18 Hornets, Boeing E-3 airborne warning and control system and Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker demonstrated the interoperability needed by this bi-national command as part of the layered defense structure required to defend North America. Operation Noble Defender is a recurring NORAD air defense operation that demonstrates and strengthens the command’s ability to maintain mission readiness in various environments and to preserve capacity for follow-on operations.

US and Canadian Armed Forces Sharpen Abilities in Austere Alaskan Region
North American Aerospace Defense Command CF-18 Hornets and F-16s Fighting Falcons fly in formation with an E-3 Sentry airborne warning and control system in support of Operation Noble Defender over Alaska, Aug. 24, 2023. The air component of the operation, called Operation Polar Arrow, demonstrated the ability to deploy assets in concert with special operations elements and maintain air sovereignty over North America. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ricardo Sandoval)

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