NORAD-Russia Exercise to Track Airliner across Borders

Vigilant Eagle, the first-ever NORAD-Russia live-fly, cooperative air defense exercise is scheduled to begin Sunday in airspace near western Alaska and eastern Russia. US and Russian fighters, airborne warning and control aircraft, and aerial refueling platforms will participate, along with US, Canadian, and Russian personnel operating from military air operations centers at JB Elmendorf, Alaska, and Khabarovsk, Russia. Both NORAD and the Russian air force will participate in a scenario in which they must send fighter aircraft after a commercial airliner captured by terrorists. NORAD says the exercise will focus on shadowing and the cooperative hand-off between the fighters as the airliner proceeds across international boundaries. NORAD first announced the upcoming event back in June. (NORAD release)