Canadian Air Force: NORAD Fighters Always On Alert

WINNIPEG – The Canadian NORAD Region (CANR) deployed CF-18 aircraft to Canada’s Far North just before the Easter long weekend in anticipation that Russian aircraft might be flying close to Canadian sovereign airspace as part of a Russian strategic aviation exercise.

The pride and joy of Air Command’s fighter pilots, the CF-18 provides air-to-air interception and air-to ground support to the army. The view from the back seat of this two-ship fomation flight emphasizes the excellent view from the Hornet’s cockpit.


On 13 April, Russian aircraft entered the Canadian Air Defense Identification Zone (CADIZ). Canadian fighters were positioned in Canadian sovereign airspace and were ready to intercept and escort the Russian aircraft if required. At no time did the foreign aircraft enter Canadian sovereign airspace and all aircraft returned to their respective bases without incident.

“CANR maintains a constant state of readiness,” said MGen Charlie Bouchard, Commander Canadian NORAD Region.  “We were there ready to take appropriate action. CANR and NORAD maintain a constant state of readiness and this deployment is testament to our continued resolve to ensure the sovereignty of North American aerospace.”

The ADIZ is a buffer zone surrounding North America that facilitates the identification of aircraft well before they come into contact with sovereign North American airspace.  It is airspace of defined dimensions within which the ready identification, location and control of airborne vehicles are required.

Seen here on the flight line at one of the Forward Operating Locations (FOLs), this Hornet is engaged in a northern patrol as part of Canada’s commitment to NORAD’s Northern Region.


NORAD is a bi-national Canada‑U.S. command responsible for the aerospace defense of North America. The surveillance and control of North American airspace remains a prime mission focus for the men and women of NORAD.  The command retains robust air defense capabilities to execute the air sovereignty mission over Canada, Alaska, and the continental U.S.  Prior to Sept. 11, 2001, we were primarily postured to look outward.  Since that time, we have increased our emphasis and ability to look inward, while maintaining our ability to monitor and respond to outside threats.


Source: Canadian Forces (DND/CF)
Picture provided and copyrighted by Canadian Forces (DND/CF)
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