Russia to Join NORAD in Antiterror Drills
A Russian military delegation has arrived in the United States to take part in a series of planning meetings with US and Canadian counterparts ahead of the joint Vigilant Eagle 2013 anti-terrorism drills to be held this summer, the Russian Defense Ministry said.
The meetings will coordinate the scenario and the schedule of the drills, the composition of trilateral air force assets involved, communications and security issues, according to the ministry.
“The exercises are due to be held at the end of August 2013,” the ministry said.
Vigilant Eagle is one of several exercises and exchanges agreed upon in a July 2009 agreement between the Russian and US military as an early product of the so-called “reset” in relations between Moscow and Washington.
The basic scenario of the previous three Vigilant Eagle drills involved a simulated hijacking of a commercial plane by terrorists that requires both the Russian Air Force and NORAD to launch fighter aircraft to intercept the seized plane and force it to land.
Russia held similar exercises, dubbed Vigilant Skies, with NATO countries in Europe in the past two years under the NATO-Russia Council’s Cooperative Airspace Initiative (CAI) launched in 2002.
Source: Moscow, RIA Novosti News - 25 May 2013
Photo: The Russian Air Force A-50 Awacs Aircraft (Photo by © RIA Novosti. Igor Zarembo)