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142nd FIGHTER WING PARTICIPATES IN EXERCISE VIGILANT SHIELD 2017

Technical Sgt. Gregory VanAcker and members of the 142nd Maintenacne Group prepare the F-15 Eagle for flight, in support of Exercise Vigilant Shield 2017, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Oct. 20, 2016.  During this exercise, forces supporting North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) will deploy and conduct air sovereignty operations in the far north and the high Arctic demonstrating the ability to detect, identify and meet possible threats in some of the most remote regions in the world.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Shelly Davison, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs).

Technical Sgt. Gregory VanAcker and members of the 142nd Maintenacne Group prepare the F-15 Eagle for flight, in support of Exercise Vigilant Shield 2017, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Oct. 20, 2016. During this exercise, forces supporting North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) will deploy and conduct air sovereignty operations in the far north and the high Arctic demonstrating the ability to detect, identify and meet possible threats in some of the most remote regions in the world. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Shelly Davison, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs).

Participants of Exercise Vigilant Shield 2017, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, pose for a group photo Oct. 21, 2016.  During this exercise, forces supporting North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) will deploy and conduct air sovereignty operations in the far north and the high Arctic demonstrating the ability to detect, identify and meet possible threats in some of the most remote regions in the world.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Shelly Davison, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs)

Participants of Exercise Vigilant Shield 2017, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, pose for a group photo Oct. 21, 2016. During this exercise, forces supporting North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) will deploy and conduct air sovereignty operations in the far north and the high Arctic demonstrating the ability to detect, identify and meet possible threats in some of the most remote regions in the world. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Shelly Davison, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs)

F-15 Eagles from the 142nd Fighter Wing arrive in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, for Exercise Vigilant Shield 2017, Oct. 17, 2016. Vigilant Shield 17 represents a unique opportunity to practice and hone joint interoperability and cooperation skills between Canada and the United States in order to protect borders as well as national interests.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Shelly Davison, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs).

F-15 Eagles from the 142nd Fighter Wing arrive in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, for Exercise Vigilant Shield 2017, Oct. 17, 2016. Vigilant Shield 17 represents a unique opportunity to practice and hone joint interoperability and cooperation skills between Canada and the United States in order to protect borders as well as national interests. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Shelly Davison, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs).

Lt. Col. William Kopp, 123rd Fighter Squadron, arrives in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, for Exercise Vigilant Shield 2017, Oct. 17, 2016.  During this exercise, forces supporting North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) will deploy and conduct air sovereignty operations in the far north and the high Arctic demonstrating the ability to detect, identify and meet possible threats in some of the most remote regions in the world.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Shelly Davison, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs).

Lt. Col. William Kopp, 123rd Fighter Squadron, arrives in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, for Exercise Vigilant Shield 2017, Oct. 17, 2016. During this exercise, forces supporting North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) will deploy and conduct air sovereignty operations in the far north and the high Arctic demonstrating the ability to detect, identify and meet possible threats in some of the most remote regions in the world. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Shelly Davison, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs).

Capt. James Hastings, 123rd Fighter Squadron, is greeted as he arrives in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, for Exercise Vigilant Shield 2017, Oct. 17, 2016. During this exercise, forces supporting North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) will deploy and conduct air sovereignty operations in the far north and the high Arctic demonstrating the ability to detect, identify and meet possible threats in some of the most remote regions in the world.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Shelly Davison, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs).

Capt. James Hastings, 123rd Fighter Squadron, is greeted as he arrives in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, for Exercise Vigilant Shield 2017, Oct. 17, 2016. During this exercise, forces supporting North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) will deploy and conduct air sovereignty operations in the far north and the high Arctic demonstrating the ability to detect, identify and meet possible threats in some of the most remote regions in the world. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Shelly Davison, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs).

Members of the 142nd Maintenance Group perform inspections on the F-15 Eagles following their arrival in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, for Exercise Vigilant Shield 2017, Oct. 17, 2016.  During this exercise, forces supporting North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) will deploy and conduct air sovereignty operations in the far north and the high Arctic demonstrating the ability to detect, identify and meet possible threats in some of the most remote regions in the world.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Shelly Davison, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs).

Members of the 142nd Maintenance Group perform inspections on the F-15 Eagles following their arrival in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, for Exercise Vigilant Shield 2017, Oct. 17, 2016. During this exercise, forces supporting North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) will deploy and conduct air sovereignty operations in the far north and the high Arctic demonstrating the ability to detect, identify and meet possible threats in some of the most remote regions in the world. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Shelly Davison, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs).

Members of the 142nd Maintenance Group arrive in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Oct. 17, 2016, and prepare for Exercise Vigilant Shield 2017.  During this exercise, forces supporting North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) will deploy and conduct air sovereignty operations in the far north and the high Arctic demonstrating the ability to detect, identify and meet possible threats in some of the most remote regions in the world.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Shelly Davison, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs).

Members of the 142nd Maintenance Group arrive in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Oct. 17, 2016, and prepare for Exercise Vigilant Shield 2017. During this exercise, forces supporting North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) will deploy and conduct air sovereignty operations in the far north and the high Arctic demonstrating the ability to detect, identify and meet possible threats in some of the most remote regions in the world. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Shelly Davison, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs).

An F-15 Eagle assigned to the 142nd Fighter Wing performs an aircraft arresting barrier system test at the Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Airport, Oct. 18, 2016.  The arresting barrier system is used in the event of an emergency where a fighter aircraft cannot stop on its own.  Members of the 142nd Fighter Wing are in Yellowknife to participate in Vigilant Shield 2017. The Vigilant Shield 2017 Field Training Exercise 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.   (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Shelly Davison, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs

An F-15 Eagle assigned to the 142nd Fighter Wing performs an aircraft arresting barrier system test at the Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Airport, Oct. 18, 2016. The arresting barrier system is used in the event of an emergency where a fighter aircraft cannot stop on its own. Members of the 142nd Fighter Wing are in Yellowknife to participate in Vigilant Shield 2017. The Vigilant Shield 2017 Field Training Exercise 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. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Shelly Davison, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Technical Sgt. Michael Banks, 142nd Maintenance Group, talks to pilot Lt. Col. William Kopp, following an aircraft arresting barrier system test at the Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Airport, Oct. 18, 2016.  The arresting barrier system is used in the event of an emergency where a fighter aircraft cannot stop on its own.  Members of the 142nd Fighter Wing are in Yellowknife to participate in Vigilant Shield 2017. The Vigilant Shield 2017 Field Training Exercise 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.   (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Shelly Davison, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs)

Technical Sgt. Michael Banks, 142nd Maintenance Group, talks to pilot Lt. Col. William Kopp, following an aircraft arresting barrier system test at the Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Airport, Oct. 18, 2016. The arresting barrier system is used in the event of an emergency where a fighter aircraft cannot stop on its own. Members of the 142nd Fighter Wing are in Yellowknife to participate in Vigilant Shield 2017. The Vigilant Shield 2017 Field Training Exercise 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. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Shelly Davison, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs)

Master Sgt. Dustin Brice, 142nd Maintenance Group, marshals the F-15 Eagle following an aircraft arresting barrier system test at the Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Airport, Oct. 18, 2016.  The arresting barrier system is used in the event of an emergency where a fighter aircraft cannot stop on its own.  Members of the 142nd Fighter Wing are in Yellowknife to participate in Vigilant Shield 2017. The Vigilant Shield 2017 Field Training Exercise 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.   (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Shelly Davison, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs)
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Master Sgt. Dustin Brice, 142nd Maintenance Group, marshals the F-15 Eagle following an aircraft arresting barrier system test at the Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Airport, Oct. 18, 2016. The arresting barrier system is used in the event of an emergency where a fighter aircraft cannot stop on its own. Members of the 142nd Fighter Wing are in Yellowknife to participate in Vigilant Shield 2017. The Vigilant Shield 2017 Field Training Exercise 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. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Shelly Davison, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs)

Staff Sgt. Christopher Campbell, 142nd Maintenance Squadron, performs jet engine oil sample testing during the unit’s participation in Exercise Vigilant Shield 2017, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Oct. 19, 2016.  During this exercise, forces supporting North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) will deploy and conduct air sovereignty operations in the far north and the high Arctic demonstrating the ability to detect, identify and meet possible threats in some of the most remote regions in the world.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Shelly Davison, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs)
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Staff Sgt. Christopher Campbell, 142nd Maintenance Squadron, performs jet engine oil sample testing during the unit’s participation in Exercise Vigilant Shield 2017, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Oct. 19, 2016. During this exercise, forces supporting North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) will deploy and conduct air sovereignty operations in the far north and the high Arctic demonstrating the ability to detect, identify and meet possible threats in some of the most remote regions in the world. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Shelly Davison, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs)

Lt. Col. Nick Rutgers, 123rd Fighter Squadron, prepares for flight in support of Exercise Vigilant Shield 2017, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Oct. 19, 2016.  During this exercise, forces supporting North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) will deploy and conduct air sovereignty operations in the far north and the high Arctic demonstrating the ability to detect, identify and meet possible threats in some of the most remote regions in the world.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Shelly Davison, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs).
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Lt. Col. Nick Rutgers, 123rd Fighter Squadron, prepares for flight in support of Exercise Vigilant Shield 2017, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Oct. 19, 2016. During this exercise, forces supporting North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) will deploy and conduct air sovereignty operations in the far north and the high Arctic demonstrating the ability to detect, identify and meet possible threats in some of the most remote regions in the world. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Shelly Davison, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs).

An F-15 Eagle assigned to the 142nd Fighter Wing taxis for flight in support of Exercise Vigilant Shield 2017, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Oct. 19, 2016.  During this exercise, forces supporting North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) will deploy and conduct air sovereignty operations in the far north and the high Arctic demonstrating the ability to detect, identify and meet possible threats in some of the most remote regions in the world.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Shelly Davison, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs)
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An F-15 Eagle assigned to the 142nd Fighter Wing taxis for flight in support of Exercise Vigilant Shield 2017, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Oct. 19, 2016. During this exercise, forces supporting North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) will deploy and conduct air sovereignty operations in the far north and the high Arctic demonstrating the ability to detect, identify and meet possible threats in some of the most remote regions in the world. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Shelly Davison, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs)

F-15 Eagles assigned to the 142nd Fighter Wing taxi for the trip home following Exercise Vigilant Shield 2017, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Oct. 21, 2016. During this exercise, forces supporting North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) will deploy and conduct air sovereignty operations in the far north and the high Arctic demonstrating the ability to detect, identify and meet possible threats in some of the most remote regions in the world.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Shelly Davison, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs)
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F-15 Eagles assigned to the 142nd Fighter Wing taxi for the trip home following Exercise Vigilant Shield 2017, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Oct. 21, 2016. During this exercise, forces supporting North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) will deploy and conduct air sovereignty operations in the far north and the high Arctic demonstrating the ability to detect, identify and meet possible threats in some of the most remote regions in the world. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Shelly Davison, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs)

F-15 Eagles assigned to the 142nd Fighter Wing taxi for the trip home following Exercise Vigilant Shield 2017, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Oct. 21, 2016. During this exercise, forces supporting North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) will deploy and conduct air sovereignty operations in the far north and the high Arctic demonstrating the ability to detect, identify and meet possible threats in some of the most remote regions in the world.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Shelly Davison, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs).
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F-15 Eagles assigned to the 142nd Fighter Wing taxi for the trip home following Exercise Vigilant Shield 2017, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Oct. 21, 2016. During this exercise, forces supporting North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) will deploy and conduct air sovereignty operations in the far north and the high Arctic demonstrating the ability to detect, identify and meet possible threats in some of the most remote regions in the world. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Shelly Davison, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs).

F-15 Eagles assigned to the 142nd Fighter Wing launch for the trip home following Exercise Vigilant Shield 2017, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Oct. 21, 2016. During this exercise, forces supporting North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) will deploy and conduct air sovereignty operations in the far north and the high Arctic demonstrating the ability to detect, identify and meet possible threats in some of the most remote regions in the world.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Shelly Davison, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs).
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F-15 Eagles assigned to the 142nd Fighter Wing launch for the trip home following Exercise Vigilant Shield 2017, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Oct. 21, 2016. During this exercise, forces supporting North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) will deploy and conduct air sovereignty operations in the far north and the high Arctic demonstrating the ability to detect, identify and meet possible threats in some of the most remote regions in the world. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Shelly Davison, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs).

123rd Fighter Squadron pilot Maj. Charles Scharmann prepares for the flight home following Exercise Vigilant Shield 2017, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Oct. 21, 2016.  During this exercise, forces supporting North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) will deploy and conduct air sovereignty operations in the far north and the high Arctic demonstrating the ability to detect, identify and meet possible threats in some of the most remote regions in the world.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Shelly Davison, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs)
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123rd Fighter Squadron pilot Maj. Charles Scharmann prepares for the flight home following Exercise Vigilant Shield 2017, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Oct. 21, 2016. During this exercise, forces supporting North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) will deploy and conduct air sovereignty operations in the far north and the high Arctic demonstrating the ability to detect, identify and meet possible threats in some of the most remote regions in the world. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Shelly Davison, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs)

United States Air Force participants of Exercise Vigilant Shield 2017, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, pose for a group photo Oct. 21, 2016. During this exercise, forces supporting North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) will deploy and conduct air sovereignty operations in the far north and the high Arctic demonstrating the ability to detect, identify and meet possible threats in some of the most remote regions in the world.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Shelly Davison, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs)
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United States Air Force participants of Exercise Vigilant Shield 2017, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, pose for a group photo Oct. 21, 2016. During this exercise, forces supporting North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) will deploy and conduct air sovereignty operations in the far north and the high Arctic demonstrating the ability to detect, identify and meet possible threats in some of the most remote regions in the world. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Shelly Davison, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs)

123rd Fighter Squadron pilot, Maj. Nathan Rice, performs checks in the F-15 before flight, in support of Exercise Vigilant Shield 2017, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Oct. 20, 2016.  During this exercise, forces supporting North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) will deploy and conduct air sovereignty operations in the far north and the high Arctic demonstrating the ability to detect, identify and meet possible threats in some of the most remote regions in the world.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Shelly Davison, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs).
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123rd Fighter Squadron pilot, Maj. Nathan Rice, performs checks in the F-15 before flight, in support of Exercise Vigilant Shield 2017, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Oct. 20, 2016. During this exercise, forces supporting North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) will deploy and conduct air sovereignty operations in the far north and the high Arctic demonstrating the ability to detect, identify and meet possible threats in some of the most remote regions in the world. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Shelly Davison, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs).

An F-15 Eagle assigned to the 142nd Fighter Wing takes flight in support of Exercise Vigilant Shield 2017, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Oct. 20, 2016.  During this exercise, forces supporting North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) will deploy and conduct air sovereignty operations in the far north and the high Arctic demonstrating the ability to detect, identify and meet possible threats in some of the most remote regions in the world.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Shelly Davison, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs).
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An F-15 Eagle assigned to the 142nd Fighter Wing takes flight in support of Exercise Vigilant Shield 2017, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Oct. 20, 2016. During this exercise, forces supporting North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) will deploy and conduct air sovereignty operations in the far north and the high Arctic demonstrating the ability to detect, identify and meet possible threats in some of the most remote regions in the world. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Shelly Davison, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs).

Members of 142nd Maintenance Group check the taxiway for debris, in preparation for the return of the F-15 Eagles supporting Exercise Vigilant Shield 2017, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Oct. 20, 2016.  During this exercise, forces supporting North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) will deploy and conduct air sovereignty operations in the far north and the high Arctic demonstrating the ability to detect, identify and meet possible threats in some of the most remote regions in the world.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Shelly Davison, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs).
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Members of 142nd Maintenance Group check the taxiway for debris, in preparation for the return of the F-15 Eagles supporting Exercise Vigilant Shield 2017, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Oct. 20, 2016. During this exercise, forces supporting North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) will deploy and conduct air sovereignty operations in the far north and the high Arctic demonstrating the ability to detect, identify and meet possible threats in some of the most remote regions in the world. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Shelly Davison, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs).

F-15 Eagles assigned to the 142nd Fighter Wing return from flight in support of Exercise Vigilant Shield 2017, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Oct. 20, 2016.  During this exercise, forces supporting North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) will deploy and conduct air sovereignty operations in the far north and the high Arctic demonstrating the ability to detect, identify and meet possible threats in some of the most remote regions in the world.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Shelly Davison, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs).
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F-15 Eagles assigned to the 142nd Fighter Wing return from flight in support of Exercise Vigilant Shield 2017, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Oct. 20, 2016. During this exercise, forces supporting North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) will deploy and conduct air sovereignty operations in the far north and the high Arctic demonstrating the ability to detect, identify and meet possible threats in some of the most remote regions in the world. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Shelly Davison, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs).

Maj. Nathan Rice, 123rd Fighter Squadron, is greeted as he returns from his mission in support of Exercise Vigilant Shield 2017, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Oct. 20, 2016.  During this exercise, forces supporting North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) will deploy and conduct air sovereignty operations in the far north and the high Arctic demonstrating the ability to detect, identify and meet possible threats in some of the most remote regions in the world.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Shelly Davison, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs)
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Maj. Nathan Rice, 123rd Fighter Squadron, is greeted as he returns from his mission in support of Exercise Vigilant Shield 2017, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Oct. 20, 2016. During this exercise, forces supporting North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) will deploy and conduct air sovereignty operations in the far north and the high Arctic demonstrating the ability to detect, identify and meet possible threats in some of the most remote regions in the world. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Shelly Davison, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs)

YELLOWKNIFE, NORTHWEST TERRITORIES -- Touching down in a C-5 Galaxy loaded with people and cargo, members of the 142nd Fighter Wing arrived in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, to snow, bitter temperatures and a warm welcome, to participate in Exercise Vigilant Shield 2017, October 17-21.

The Vigilant Shield 2017 Field Training Exercise is an annual exercise sponsored by the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) 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. 

Bringing approximately 65 members, four F-15 Eagles and 119,450 pounds of equipment to the Northwest Territories, the 142nd Fighter Wing was greeted by a host of support from the Canadian Mission Support Element as well as multiple U.S. military forces at Yellowknife, making it truly a joint exercise.

This year's exercise built 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. Vigilant Shield 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.

The exercise provided the opportunity not only to deploy troops, jets and equipment to a forward location, but also to operate in a climate much different than the 142nd Fighter Wing's home of Portland, Oregon. 

F-15 Eagle pilot Capt. James Hastings, 123rd Fighter Squadron, said the weather in the Northwest Territories provided a chance to work through "new aspects of mission planning and execution that doesn't happen at home."

Chief Master Sgt. Dan Conner, 142nd Maintenance Group and Non-commissioned Officer in Charge of the 142nd Vigilant Shied deployment, said participating in Vigilant Shield "helps us exercise the machine, moving all of our equipment and people into another location and ensuring that we are capable of operating." 

The men and women of the 142nd Fighter Wing wrapped up their portion of Vigilant Shield with the successful launch of their homeward bound F-15 Eagles.  For Master Sgt. Joshua Combs, 142nd Maintenance Group, it was his first deployment as a 1st Sgt. where he was able to truly see the valuable and concrete training this exercise provided. 

"The highlight of the trip was seeing the jets take off, being able to move all of the equipment and all of the personnel, get set up, get the aircraft here and seeing our maintainers happy, and looking forward to doing what they were trained to do," said Combs.  "I have to say that I am spoiled on this trip, it has been absolutely perfect."