Major preparedness exercise begins today

By NORAD and USNORTHCOM Public Affairs | April 30, 2007

The Department of Defense in cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security, the Canadian Department of National Defence (Canada Command) and multiple state and local officials will conduct a major preparedness exercise from April 30 to May 18.   

Major events will take place in New England, Indiana, Alaska and adjacent waters and along the Western U.S. – Canadian border.

Ardent Sentry-Northern Edge 07 is a Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) directed, U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) sponsored Homeland Defense (HLD) and Defense Support of Civil Authorities (DSCA) exercise. 

 The Homeland Security Council has designated Ardent Sentry and associated exercises (Northern Edge, Vigilant Guard, 2007 National Hurricane Preparedness Exercise, Blue Flag, Positive Response and Alaska Shield) as a national level exercise for 2007.  This exercise will be the largest and most complex exercise undertaken by USNORTHCOM. 

The exercise will include a hurricane scenario, the 2007 National Hurricane Preparedness Exercise, in the northeastern United States.  Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and New York as well as the Federal Emergency Management Agency will be involved in the event.  Most activity will be centered in the Providence, R.I., area.

In Indiana, National Planning Scenario One, a detonation of an improvised nuclear device, will drive the deployment of more than 2,000 active duty military personnel and nearly 1,000 National Guard personnel to Camp Atterbury and the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center.  U.S. Northern Command’s Joint Task Force – Civil Support will deploy to Indiana.

The state of Alaska, in coordination with U. S. Northern Command’s Joint Task Force – Alaska, will respond to a series of simulated terrorist related events throughout the state.  Maritime events will take place in the waters adjacent to Alaska, and several events involving aircraft will unfold in the state.

“Exercises like this provide an excellent opportunity for federal, state, and local agencies to review processes and techniques and build relationships,” said Mike Perini, the NORAD and US Northern Command director of Public Affairs. “This exercise is designed to be challenging and complex.  It allows participants to challenge their people and resources and look at new options and solutions.”

For this exercise, participants developed various training objectives.  Exercise planners then designed situations where the participants would have an opportunity to meet those objectives.

“This exercise is not the culmination of training.  It is only part of an on-going cycle of training that prepares people to face real challenge,” added Perini.

The exercise also provides the reserve components with a unique opportunity to exercise with USNORTHCOM, other federal agencies, and representatives from state, local and non-governmental organizations involved in homeland security.

U.S. Northern Command was established Oct. 1, 2002, to provide command and control of Department of Defense homeland defense efforts and to coordinate defense support of civil authorities. NORAD is a bi-national United States and Canadian organization charged with the missions of aerospace warning and aerospace control for North America