May 29, 2020 – U.S. Northern Command is leading a major homeland defense exercise today conducted in partnership with North American Aerospace Defense Command, U.S. Transportation Command, U.S. Strategic Command, and U.S. Space Command, with the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group (HSTCSG) under the operational control of U.S. Northern Command. Canadian naval forces consisted of HMCS Ville de Quebec and MV Asterix.
This large-scale exercise is a first of its kind where four combatant commands and NORAD are conducting homeland defense operations, exercising joint integration, conducting multi-national operations, and strengthening interoperability in command and control.
“Leading complex multi-combatant command operations across multiple domains demonstrates our readiness to defend our homeland regardless of COVID-19,” said General Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, commander of NORAD and USNORTHCOM. “The high-end training we are conducting enables integration between strategic-level organizations who all play a significant role in the most important mission for our nation — defending our homeland.”
Exercise participants are using Link 16, a tactical data system that enhances tactical capabilities by allowing players to share real-time situational awareness and command and control data.
NORAD, in conjunction with U.S. Northern Command, will conduct an air defense exercise to demonstrate the capabilities of Canada and the United States. NORAD CF-18s and F-15s, fueled by KC-135 Stratotankers, will conduct an air intercept exercise in conjunction with F/A-18 fighter aircraft from the HSTCSG.
The HSTCSG is comprised of the flagship Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) and the embarked squadrons of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 1, and Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60). HSTCSG remains at sea as a combat ready element of the global response force to ensure access, deter aggression and defend U.S., allied and partner interests while conducting USNORTHCOM’s top-priority mission of homeland defense, despite COVID-19.
The HSTCSG is under the operational control of USNORTHCOM during the exercise, demonstrating the command’s mission to deter, detect, and defeat threats to the United States as it conducts its primary mission of defending the homeland.
U.S. Transportation Command is providing Operation NOBLE EAGLE alert tankers along the East Coast to support forces during the exercise. USTRANSCOM’s aerial refueling fleet is the backbone of rapid U.S. global operations and the lifeblood of the Joint Force’s ability to deploy an immediate force supporting all National Defense Strategy Mission areas. USTRANSCOM maintains a global deployment posture, ready mobility capacity, and the global command and control at echelon necessary to generate this immediate force and seamlessly transition to a fully mobilized Joint Deployment and Distribution Enterprise to project a decisive force when required.
U.S. Strategic Command will provide a B-1B Lancer long-range bomber to simulate an adversary role and attempt to penetrate U.S. airspace to provide realistic training to forces during the exercise. The multi-mission, supersonic B-1B can rapidly deliver massive quantities of precision and non-precision munitions against any adversary, anywhere in the world at any time. Strategic bomber operations and exercises enhance the readiness and training necessary to respond to any contingency or challenge across the globe.
“Today, there is not a joint operation that doesn’t integrate space capabilities – the pervasiveness of these capabilities and the information they provide is a key ingredient to how American forces operate with unmatched speed, precision, and lethality,” said Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond, USSPACECOM commander and USSF Chief of Space Operations.
For the exercise, USSPACECOM through NAVSPACECOM is providing space operations support to the Second Fleet commander through satellite communications and GPS to ensure all units are communicating and executing clear command and control. This enables the HSTCSG to employ their tactics, techniques and procedures to increase lethality throughout DFE operations.