NORAD, USNORTHCOM to train in national exercise

By NORAD and USNORTHCOM Public Affairs

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PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command will exercise their response abilities to a variety of events during an intensive eight-day national level exercise in May.

National Level Exercise 2-08 will run May 1-8 and will exercise national capabilities to prepare and respond to multiple incidents including both natural disasters and terrorist incidents.  The exercise will include hurricane preparedness and response and Defense Support to Civil Authorities coordination in response to a weapon of mass destruction terrorist attack.

USNORTHCOM’s primary exercise venues for NLE 2-08 include locations in Washington and Oregon. Exercise scenarios include multiple terrorist attacks in the state of Washington, an accidental chemical agent release in Oregon, a Category 4 hurricane impacting the mid-Atlantic Coast and the National Capitol Region region and aerospace events throughout North America.

NLE 2-08 will also involve agencies including the Department of Homeland Security, FEMA, U.S. Transportation Command and the National Guard. Canada Command will participate through its Staunch Maple exercise.

“Exercises like NLE 2 – 08 give us the opportunity to work with other federal agencies, state and local officials, as well as Canada, in the response to multiple events,” said Gene Pino, NORAD and USNORTHCOM Joint Training and Exercise director. “This allows us to look at processes and procedures to identify strengths and weaknesses by stressing the system so that we can be better prepared in the future.”

NORAD, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary in May, is the bi-national Canadian and American command responsible for the air defense of North America and maritime warning for Canada and the United States.

U.S. Northern Command was established on Oct. 1, 2002, to anticipate and conduct homeland defense and civil support operations within the assigned area of responsibility to defend, protect, and secure the United States and its interests.