An Air Force exercise involving the United States, Canada and Russia was suspended by the U.S. Defense Department officials and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The Air Force exercise was cancelled, “due to the situation in Ukraine.”
Whether or not this joint military exercise will be renewed is anyone’s guess. It was not mentioned in the reports we read. We would probably guess that it will continue in 2015 as Vigilant Eagle 2013 was called an “unprecedented” success.
Air Force Exercise History Lesson
The military exercise – Vigilant Eagle – began in 2007 and takes place August or September near Alaska. This year NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command made up of U.S. and Canadian forces) and the Russian Federation Air Force were to also be joined by the Japan Self Defense Force.
According to the Associated Press, Vigilant Eagle “provided an opportunity for NORAD and Russia to cooperate and coordinate on the response to a mutually acknowledged hijacking threat,” NORAD spokesman Sgt. Charles Marsh said in an email to the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. “For example, in 2013, the Vigilant Eagle scenario involved a foreign flagged commercial air carrier on an international flight that was seized by terrorists and did not respond to communications.”
An Air Force Exercise that Transcended Politics?
Looks like what U.S. defense officials touted last year as an exercise which transcended politics is now up to its neck in politics. So much for those improved military relations the same officials were talking up last year. Of course, we all know that “type” of talk.