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raptorman

US Military Flights in/over Canada

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My American friends;

 

Twice in the last 2 months I have seen US Military aircraft flying over Canada! Cool, I say. Unusual? Yes?

 

The first time was in the mid-central portion Vancouver Island. I saw a KC-10 refuelling an E3 AWACS with a fighter flying near-by. This was during the Vancouver Olympics, so perhaps it was a joint-security thing? The fighter could have been an CF-18 out of Vancouver...

 

THe second flight was even stranger. A saw a HH-60 Jayhawk flying just off-shore over the West Coast of Vancouver Island south of the resort town of Tofino. The closest USCGAS "with" Jayhawks is Alaska or Oregon. It was great to see, but why would it have been there? Doubtful a resuce as our CH-149 Cormorants are just a very short flight away at CFB Comox.

 

Just curious.

 

RaptorMun

Edited by raptorman

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Fairchild AFB tankers were flying in support of the AWACS providing overwatch over the Olympics. We'd watch them come in and out like clock work from the mission. One came back after a rather long one and Fairchild had the runway closed for bird activity or something. They finally got permission from some general to let the poor guys land.

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Would be cool if the Russians sent a Tu-160 for an overhead pass with an Olympic banner to support the games :grin:

Might've brought the team at least some worthy medals, since they can't win'em themselves.

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Actually not unusual at all. We are always over Canada doing joint training and exercises.

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Arent the canadian and the US airspace a common air defence area? So i have heared it 20 years ago. If this is correct then US planes over Canada should be not seldom.

Edited by Gepard

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the USCG helo was there as part of the US support to Canada for the Olympics, coordinated either directly between the USCG and RCMP or through NORTHCOM to Canada Command.

 

"Arent the canadian and the US airspace a common air defence area?"

 

yes, under NORAD which is a bi-national command and staffed by both countries in each of the NORAD HQ, Region and Sector commands. (I spent 15 years in NORAD both on active duty and as a civilian defense contractor, just left a few months ago)

 

There are two kinds of operations where the aircraft of both countries operate in the other. One will be under the NORAD ops for air sovereignty and defense, the other will be outside of the NORAD agreement and instead a direct operation for training or support coordinated directly between NORTHCOM and Canada Command.

 

So quite routine and normal for aircraft from both countries to fly in the other. On a day to day basis, our USAF tankers support the NORAD fighter alerts, CF-18, in the Canadian NORAD region. Fighters, AWACS and tankers can and are routinely handed back and forth as needed.

 

on note - when the F-15's were briefly grounded a year or two ago, it was CF-18's that stood up briefly in the Alaskan NORAD Region until we flowed sufficient F-22's to assume that alert posture.

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