Being very careful not to give any secrets away Lieutenant-Colonel James Peck, Commanding Officer, 21 Aerospace Control and Warning Squadron confirmed that 22 Wing CFB North Bay is participating in NORAD Operation Spring Forward (OP SF).
Peck says Spring Forward is a major training exercise for the Aerospace Defense Command sector in the Canadian NORAD Region (CANR) and it is important for the community to be aware of the work folks on base are doing.
“Although we are only one of several RCF wings across Canada participating, 22 Wing and specifically the Canadian Air Defense sector do have a critical role in this exercise as we provide the necessary command and control to our higher headquarters,” explained Peck.
“It is what we do every day without fail the men and women of 21 Aerospace Control and Warning Squadron work to provide surveillance and control of the airspace over Canada.”
“Our roll in ops Spring Forward will remain unchanged from many traditional NORAD missions we conduct -- we provide fighter control and radar monitoring of aircraft participating in the exercise.”
“As well as the coordination with an adjacent NORAD sectors NAV Canada and our higher headquarters ultimately ensuring in the overall mission readiness of NORAD assets.”
Peck says they are happy to have the time to participate in an exercise that will continue to ensure the sovereignty of the Canadian boarders.
“Our missions are well-planned, our personnel are well-versed and regardless of whether we are operating from our home base or from a forward operating location we remain ready for the numerous challenges of employing deployed fighter aircraft.”
Peck says the exercise is not in reaction to the current climate between Russia and the Ukraine.
“The planning for this came about originally one of our senior officers in Winnipeg wanted to test full force forward operating location exercise a year and a half ago and we got authorization to actually do it six months ago when the planning began,” explains.
“So it was before all of the events in the Crimea began.”
“It certainly sends a message we're capable to be where we need to be to defend our airspace.”