It was part of a training practice during exercise Vigilant Shield 17-1.

A Canadian CF-18 Hornet practices intercept and escort procedures alongside a USAF B-52 Stratofortress bomber

A cooperative NATO/NORAD exercise known as VIGILANT SHIELD 17, held on Jun. 15 to 16, 2017, allowed the NATO Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC) at Uedem to conduct the handover of a simulated flight of strategic bomber assets with the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).

The exercise involved US Air Force B-52 Bombers transiting from Europe to North America simulating a so-called track to be detected by NATO’s Integrated Air and Missile Defence System and NORAD’s air-defence system. The bomber flight was constantly tracked by the CAOC, which alerted RCAF CF-18s presently stationed at Iceland on a NATO mission to intercept the track. The RCAF jets safely identified the B-52 more than 100 miles off the coast of Iceland.

This exercise was closely planned between NORAD and NATO to ensure maximum training and integration opportunities and compliance with all national and international protocols and regulations.

"For decades, Integrated Air and Missile Defence has been a cornerstone of NATO's core task, Collective Defence,” said General Tod D. Wolters, Commander Allied Air Command which oversees NATO Air Policing. "It is a continuous mission in peacetime, crisis and times of conflict, which safeguards the European portions of the Alliance's populations, territory and forces,” General Wolters added. "Exercise Vigilant Shield demonstrates NATO and NORAD cooperation and interoperability and further underscores the Alliance's transatlantic link, while showcasing its airpower capabilities.”

"This exercise provides an opportunity for NORAD forces to work with NATO, to train and ensure they are prepared for the critical mission of defending North America,” said Major-General Christian Drouin, Commander, 1 Canadian Air Division and the Canadian NORAD Region.

Source: Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office
Photo credit: Department of National Defence

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