Residents of communities around Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Labrador, and southeast Nova Scotia may hear and see increased air activity this week as the Canadian North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) region participates in Exercise Amalgam Dart off the Atlantic coast.
Maj."Rambo" Kirk Soroka, Alert Force Commander, Depot Commanding Office and Pilot (PLT) from 409 Squadron prepares to land in a CF-18 Hornet during Exercise Amalgam Dart in Comox British Columbia. Training exercises are taking place this week over the Atlantic. — Canadian Forces Photo by Private Owen W. Budge, 19 Wing Comox.
The training exercise to practice intercept and identification procedures as well as air-to-air refueling is scheduled to take place over the Atlantic ocean between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. (Atlantic Standard Time) from today until Thursday.
In a news release, Major-General Pierre St-Amand, commander, of 1 Canadian Air Division and the Canadian NORAD region, said "The RCAF is proud to stand on guard for all Canadians as a partner in NORAD. Through carefully-planned and closely-controlled training, the RCAF ensures our commitment to NORAD rapid response capabilities in the event of a domestic air threat."
The Royal Canadian Airforce (RCAF) aircraft involved in the training will include CF-18 Hornets from 3 Wing, Bagotville, Que., a CP-140 Aurora from 14 Wing, Greenwood, N.S. and CC-130T Hercules from 17 Wing, Winnipeg, Man.
The majority of RCAF aircraft will be based at 14 Wing Greenwood, N.S. and 5 Wing, Goose Bay in Labrador, with the CC-130T Hercules flying out of St. John's.
Amalgam Dart will also include participation from the United States Air Force (USAF), including a B-52 Stratofortress from 5th Bomb Wing, Minot Air Force Base, N.D., and a B-1 Lancer from 28th Bomb Wing, Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D.
This training will also integrate with the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) Task Group Exercise, which is scheduled from Nov. 25 to Dec. 5, off the Canadian Atlantic Coast. That exercise also includes CH-124 Sea Kings from 12 Wing Shearwater, N.S., based on RCN ships.
NORAD says Amalgam Dart will take place at various altitudes over water, so most air activity will not be visible to the public. However, mariners in the exercise area may hear and see the fighters flying in close proximity to military or contracted aircraft.
NORAD provides aerospace surveillance, identification, control and warning for the defence of Canada and the United States.
Following Amalgam Dart, the Canadian NORAD Region says it will be ramping up for NORAD Tracks Santa.