Iqaluit residents can expect to see an array of military aircraft from June 10 to 18 as an Arctic air defence exercise will be conducted under the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).

Known as Amalgam Dart, the exercise will include aircraft from the Royal Canadian Air Force and United States Air Force. Most of the activity will take place at high altitudes and over sparsely populated areas of the Arctic.

The purpose of the operation is to test the military’s readiness to respond to a terrorist attack and other air defence missions.

“In order to test responses, systems and equipment, NORAD routinely conducts exercises, all year and in various weather conditions with a variety of scenarios, including airspace restriction violations, hijackings and responding to unknown aircraft,” NORAD stated in a June 7 news release. “The defence of Canada and the U.S. is NORAD’s number one priority. While our air operations may change, our vigilance will not. NORAD continues to execute its missions with the same conviction and diligence that has been the command’s trademark since 1958.”

Personnel involved in the exercise will undergo COVID-19 testing.

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