Exercise Vigilant Skies 2013 tests CAI network
An exercise to test the NATO-Russia Council’s Cooperative Airspace Initiative (CAI) Information Exchange System (IES) will take place between 23 and 27 September to consolidate the processes, procedures and capabilities of the CAI network.
Called Vigilant Skies 2013, the exercise will cover the three CAI geographical areas of operational interest, Bodø – Murmansk, Warsaw – Kaliningrad and Ankara – Rostov-on-Don. Lessons identified under current CAI operation and previously conducted exercises will be further expanded upon.
Example scenarios will include an aircraft that starts behaving erratically as it has been hijacked to be used as a weapon. The CAI operating crews utilising CAI processes and procedures will apply, in real time, appropriate measures to handle the situation with aircraft in the skies. Exercise Directors from NATO and Russian Federation positioned in the CAI coordination centres will be in charge of the exercise.
The aim of the CAI IES is to foster cooperation on airspace surveillance and air traffic coordination against terrorist attacks using civilian aircraft to facilitate the airspace security information management required for the handling of security incidents.
The CAI was launched at the first NATO-Russia Council summit in Rome in May 2002, and the CAI IES was declared operational in December 2011.
The CAI network consists of four units in NATO nations and four units in the Russian Federation. The exchange of air traffic information is conducted in the three pairs of area air traffic control centres, interconnected through CAI coordination centres located in Warsaw and Moscow. The architecture of the CAI IES enables other NATO and Partner nations to join the programme at any stage.
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