NORAD, USNORTHCOM podcasts describe Vigilant Shield 07 training

By MCC Susan Hammond | NORAD/USNORTHCOM Public Affairs | December 10, 2006

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Adm. Timothy Keating, commander, North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command, and Maj. Gen. William Webster Jr., USNORTHCOM director of operations, expressed how the commands are exercising their homeland defense skills during Vigilant Shield 07, an annual training event which began Dec. 4 and will continue through Dec. 14.

To listen to the podcast with Adm. Keating, click on http://www.northcom.mil/Podcast/mpg_files/vso7_Adm_Keating.mp3, and for the podcast with Maj. Gen. Webster, click on http://www.northcom.milPodcast/mpg_files/VS07_MG_Webster.mp3.

The following are the transcripts.

Adm. Timothy J. Keating discusses USNORTHCOM's participation in Vigilant Shield 2007

December 9, 2006

SFC BRAYMEN: Welcome to the North American Aerospace Defense Command and United States Northern Command podcast. I’m your host, Army Sergeant First Class Gail Braymen, from the NORAD and USNORTHCOM Public Affairs Office.
                                
NORAD and USNORTHCOM are exercising their homeland defense skills during Vigilant Shield 07, an annual training event that began Monday and will run for several more days. Adm. Timothy Keating is the commander of NORAD and USNORTHCOM. He says that homeland defense for all citizens in Canada and the United States is the top priority for NORAD and USNORTHCOM and that Vigilant Shield is designed to stress those capabilities.

ADM. KEATING: It has been a demanding series of events for us. We continue through the weekend and on well into next week. It’s about a 2-week guerilla, if you will, with series of events unknown to us, to with we respond in as quickly a manner as we can.

SFC BRAYMEN: Adm. Keating said the extremely high operational tempo of the Vigilant Shield exercise is designed to stress NORAD and-NC personnel. It also allows the staff to strengthen existing relationships with the commands’ interagency partners, including the Department of Homeland Security. And the commands are challenged to mitigate potential threats in the air, land and sea domains.

ADM. KEATING: In the end, I hope that the Canadians and Americans are all assured that United States Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command are prepared to respond to threats as they present themselves, and more importantly, to deflect and deter those attacks before they ever occur. That’s what we’re about here. We take our mission very seriously.

SFC BRAYMEN: NORAD and USNORTHCOM will continue exercising their homeland defense skills in Vigilant Shield 07 through Dec. 14.

and

Maj. Gen. William Webster Jr. discusses USNORTHCOM's participation in Vigilant Shield 2007

December 9, 2006

SFC BRAYMEN: Welcome to the North American Aerospace Defense Command and United States Northern Command podcast. I’m your host, Army Sergeant First Class Gail Braymen, from the NORAD and USNORTHCOM Public Affairs Office.

NORAD and USNORTHCOM are exercising their homeland defense skills during Vigilant Shield 07, an annual training event that began Monday and will continue through Dec. 14. Maj. Gen. William Webster Jr. is the director of USNORTHCOM operations.

MAJ. GEN. WEBSTER: Well, the exercise scenario includes a number of incidents that we will have to deal with either simultaneously or almost simultaneously. These represent some of the things that we have to be prepared to do to defend the homeland and to provide defense support to civil authorities.

SFC BRAYMEN: So far in Exercise Vigilant Shield 07, the crash of a United States Air Force C-17 aircraft resulted in a nuclear weapons accident in the United States, terrorists attacked a U.S. military installation, a civilian plane crashed in Canada, and two U.S. airliners have reported distress situations. Still ongoing in the exercise are situations involving potential limited ballistic missile attack and a maritime domain threat.

MAJ. GEN. WEBSTER: These men and women do a magnificent job every day, and they’re performing those jobs under stress, probably stressed in a near worst-case-like scenario for this operation, so that we can be sure that we can meet the tasks at hand when a crisis comes.

SFC BRAYMEN: During Exercise Vigilant Shield 07 NORAD and US NORTHCOM personnel are working with the same interagency partners with which they would work during actual crises. Again, Gen. Webster:

MAJ. GEN. WEBSTER: The National Guard, the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI and a host of local and state organizations that we would have to work with in wartime, are working with us in this exercise. It’s providing a great workout.

SFC BRAYMEN: To learn more about how NORAD and USNORTHCOM are defending our homelands, visit our Web sites at www.norad.mil and www.northcom.mil. And send us your comments and any questions you may have to northcompa@northcom.mil. Thanks for listening. From the NORAD and U.S. Northern Command Public Affairs Office, I’m Army Sergeant First Class Gail Braymen.