Four U.S. combatant commands, NORAD conduct homeland defense exercise

May 29 (UPI) — The U.S. Northern Command on Friday announced an Atlantic Ocean exercise involving four other combatant commands and led by the USS Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group.

The unprecedented, large-scale exercise involves homeland defense operations and the involvement of the U.S. Northern Command, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, the U.S. Transportation Command, the U.S. Strategic Command and the U.S. Space Command.

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With Canadian fighter planes also participating, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, is also involved.

The exercise, which started Friday, is the first time that four U.S. combatant commands have worked together in a military exercise.

Homeland defense operations, exercising joint integration, conducting multi-national operations and strengthening interoperability in command and control are the goals of the four-day exercise, NORTHCOM said in a statement.

“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, NORAD and NORTHCOM commander. “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.”

The aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman and its strike wing, with additional F-15 and Canadian fighter planes, will conduct intercept exercises, officials said. A B1-B bomber of the U.S. Air Force will be employed as an infiltrating enemy. The Transportation Command will also provide refueling tankers, and Space Command will provide satellite communications and GPS.

The exercise is part of the USS Harry S. Truman’s third overseas cruise in four years. It deployed in September from its home port of Norfolk, Va.

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