NORAD and USNORTHCOM kick off Vigilant Shield ’07 exercise to hone homeland defense skills

By NORAD and USNORTHCOM Public Affairs | December 01, 2006

PETERSON AFB, Colo. – North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command will be practicing the skills needed to “defend our homelands” of the United States and Canada from a variety of potential threats during Exercise Vigilant Shield ‘07, a robust exercise starting Monday and running through Dec. 14.

The exercise is designed to hone NORAD’s and USNORTHCOM’s responses to a variety of simulated attacks.
VS ‘07 emphasizes synchronized response between NORAD and two combatant commands -- USNORTHCOM and U.S. Strategic Command -- during various homeland defense scenarios as participants engage round-the-clock practicing crucial warfighting skills.

NORAD activities during VS ‘07 will take place at Peterson AFB and the Cheyenne Mountain Directorate in Colorado Springs, Colo., and the three NORAD regions -- Alaska NORAD Region, Canadian NORAD Region and Continental United States NORAD Region.

The exercise will also test USNORTHCOM’s command and control capability from its headquarters in Colorado Springs to provide defense support to the nation during a variety of simulated scenarios including a potential limited ballistic missile attack, a maritime domain threat and support to a lead agency in response to a simulated nuclear weapons accident.

VS ‘07 will involve troops from the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Canadian personnel in the U.S. and at the three NORAD regions. There will be no cross-border deployments of U.S. or Canadian personnel.

Military and government agencies will work closely during this exercise in order to further improve interagency cooperation and cement relationships between state, local and federal agencies in response to real-world incidents. Agencies involved include the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Energy, the State of Arizona, and personnel from the city of Tucson, Ariz.

VS ‘07 will improve the Department of Defense’s capacity to manage a series of events; improve seamless interaction of DOD with interagency response; and validate authorities, strategies, plans, policies, procedures and protocols in place to enable effective response to real-world situations.

NOTE FOR MEDIA ORGANIZATIONS: For more information on the exercise or for potential media coverage during the exercise, please contact Mr. Michael Kucharek or Maj. April Cunningham at the NORAD and USNORTHCOM Public Affairs Office, 719-554-6889.