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News | June 30, 2023

Exercise Vital Archer 2023

By Master Sgt. Benjamin Wiseman USNORTHCOM

PETERSON SPACE FORCE BASE, Colorado – Vital Archer 23, a bilateral exercise focused on counterterrorism and counter weapons of mass destruction, came to a close June 22, 2023, across the United States and Canada.

Led by U.S. Northern Command and Canadian Special Operations Forces Command, Vital Archer 23 featured approximately 1,400 participants from 23 U.S. and Canadian government agencies from across both nations’ national security enterprises, with special operations forces from both nations. 

“Vital Archer 23 allowed the U.S. and Canada to practice bilateral coordination, collaboration, and operations in response to a no-fail national security scenario,” said the Commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command General Glen D. VanHerck. “As neighbors and close Allies, the U.S. and Canada share the common goal to defend North America. Exercises like Vital Archer increase our collective ability to defend the Homelands.”

During Vital Archer 23, U.S. Northern Command worked closely with U.S. Department of Defense and interagency partners including the Department of State, the Department of Energy, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and others. The exercise also provided a venue for each agency to develop and strengthen relationships with their Canadian counterparts.

“Vital Archer 23 provided a tremendous opportunity to work with our interagency and American counterparts, practicing our collective ability to keep North America safe,” said Major-General Steve Boivin, Commander of Canadian Special Operations Forces Command. “The interoperability and skills we develop through these partnerships ensures we can defend our nations from multi-domain threats.”

Global alliances and partnerships, like those strengthened during Vital Archer, provide the United States and Canada with an asymmetric advantage over our strategic competitors, and deliver significant and lasting benefits for North America’s security.