The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and the Russian Air Force have conducted a second cooperative exercise, Exercise Vigilant Eagle 2011, at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, US.

The exercise simulated a US flagged carrier, Fencing 1220, hijacked by terrorists with NORAD diverting airborne warning and control and fighter aircraft to monitor and intercept Fencing 1220 following notification from Federal Aviation Administration and Transportation Security Agency.

Canadian Air Force Alaskan NORAD region deputy commander Colonel Todd Balfe said, “This exercise provides the opportunity for Russia, Canada and the US to enhance our coordination and partnership to cooperatively identify, intercept and follow a suspect aircraft as it proceeds across international boundaries, thus reducing the threat of air terrorism.

“This exercise clearly allowed us to refine the processes and procedures to use in the event of a real-world, cross-border air terrorism scenario,” he added.

“Vigilant Eagle 2011 builds upon the remarkable success of last year’s exercise, when we conducted the first live-flying event between Russia and the US since the Second World War.”

The exercise was aimed at strengthening the communication between Russia and NORAD in the event of a hijacked aircraft transiting the Bering Sea.