October 17, 2016 - U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, receive fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker flown by the 92nd Aerial Refueling Squadron from Fairchild Air Force Base, WA, while both units participate in the Vigilant Shield 2017 Field Training Exercise, in the high arctic. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Gregory Brook)
Vigilant Shield is an annual exercise sponsored by The North American Aerospace Defense Command and led by Alaskan NORAD Region, in conjunction with Canadian NORAD Region and Continental NORAD Region, who undertake field training exercises aimed at improving operational capability in a bi-national environment. This year's exercise sees NORAD building on previous years' training successes when deploying air assets and personnel to the far north to exercise sovereignty operations in North America's northern aerospace and in the high Arctic. This exercise provides crucial training opportunities for numerous military personnel with a variety of aircraft and assets from Canada and the United States to improve interoperability and to demonstrate NORAD's ability to defend North America.