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Thule AB helps keep North America behind a Vigilant Shield

A crew from the Royal Canadian Air Force 425th Tactical Fighter Squadron prepares to fly a CF-188 Hornet from Thule Air Base, Greenland, in exercise Vigilant Shield 17. Canadian and U.S. units took part in the exercise, an annual North American Aerospace Defense Command event designed to conduct air sovereignty operations in the high arctic. (United States Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Daniel Bickford)

A crew from the Royal Canadian Air Force 425th Tactical Fighter Squadron prepares to fly a CF-188 Hornet from Thule Air Base, Greenland, in exercise Vigilant Shield 17. Canadian and U.S. units took part in the exercise, an annual North American Aerospace Defense Command event designed to conduct air sovereignty operations in the high arctic. (United States Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Daniel Bickford)

A CC-130 Hercules from the Royal Canadian Air Force 413th Transport and Rescue Squadron, takes off from Thule Air Base, Greenland. Thule AB hosted Canadian and U.S. units as part of Vigilant Shield 17, a North American Aerospace Defense Command exercise designed to conduct air sovereignty operations in the high arctic. (United States Air Force photo by Tech Sgt. Garry Chickery, Jr.)

A CC-130 Hercules from the Royal Canadian Air Force 413th Transport and Rescue Squadron, takes off from Thule Air Base, Greenland. Thule AB hosted Canadian and U.S. units as part of Vigilant Shield 17, a North American Aerospace Defense Command exercise designed to conduct air sovereignty operations in the high arctic. (United States Air Force photo by Tech Sgt. Garry Chickery, Jr.)

A CF-188 Hornet from the Royal Canadian Air Force 425th Tactical Fighter Squadron prepares to take off from Thule Air Base, Greenland, in exercise Vigilant Shield 17. Thule hosted Canadian and U.S. units in the exercise, an annual North American Aerospace Defense Command event designed to conduct air sovereignty operations in the high arctic. (United States Air Force photo by Tech Sgt. Garry Chickery, Jr.)

A CF-188 Hornet from the Royal Canadian Air Force 425th Tactical Fighter Squadron prepares to take off from Thule Air Base, Greenland, in exercise Vigilant Shield 17. Thule hosted Canadian and U.S. units in the exercise, an annual North American Aerospace Defense Command event designed to conduct air sovereignty operations in the high arctic. (United States Air Force photo by Tech Sgt. Garry Chickery, Jr.)

THULE AIR BASE, Greenland -- Fulfilling its role as the U.S. military’s northernmost base, Thule Air Base, Greenland, participated in Vigilant Shield 17. As a geographically separated unit of the 21st Space Wing, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, the participation of Thule’s Airmen demonstrate the far-reaching capabilities of the wing.

Vigilant Shield is an annual, bi-national training event aimed at honing the abilities of North American Aerospace Defense Command’s preparedness in defending the North American homeland by responding to a variety of scenarios. The exercise is held to conduct air sovereignty operations in the high arctic.

For it’s part in the operation, Thule AB played host to 65 Canadian and 12 U.S. units, including the 820th Red Horse Squadron, Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, and the Canadian 425th Tactical Fighter Squadron and 413th Transport and Rescue Squadron. The base served as a staging site for exercise operations.

“Multiple organizations assigned to Thule AB worked hand in hand with their Canadian counterparts to ensure a successful reception of four F-18s and a CC-130 search-and-rescue aircraft,” said Capt. Sean Baker, 821st Support Squadron Logistics Flight Commander. “Thule personnel guaranteed support to their coalition partners, providing lodging, food, fuel, vehicle, medical and operational capabilities.”

To keep all of the participating aircraft safe, the 821st Security Forces Squadron provided additional security to the airfield during the exercise. The 821st Support Squadron covered logistics, airfield operations, and medical support for exercise players. A huge support function was provided by civil engineering personnel, who coordinated with the 820th Red Horse Squadron to install the barrier arresting kits needed to land their aircraft.

Peterson SFB Schriever SFBCheyenne Mountain SFSThule AB New Boston SFS Kaena Point SFS Maui