The four F-35s participated in the Noble Defender exercises carried out by the US and Canada between January 15 and 31.
The North American Air Defense Command (for its acronym in English) announced Monday the end of the Noble Defender exercises, within the framework of which four F-35 stealth fighters were deployed for the first time in Thule airbase (Greenland), the northernmost on Washington property.
“Operation Noble Defender successfully demonstrated our willingness and ability to conduct operations in the Arctic Circle even in the most adverse weather conditionsand demonstrated a concept of integration with key Arctic partners to defend the northern approaches to North America,” said Gen. Glen VanHerck, head of NORAD, a joint US-Canada organization.
Some 225 US and Canadian troops participated in the long-planned trials between January 15 and 31. Apart from the F-35 multirole fighters, three CF-18 fighters, four KC-135 tankers, a CC-150 aerial refueling planean E-3 early warning aircraft and a CH-149 helicopter.
The maneuvers ended with the interception by the CF-18 of an American B-52 strategic bomber that imitated a threat. The fighters escorted the B-52 as it flew over northern Canada and the central US.