During the Cold War, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, watched out for a potential nuclear attack from the Soviet Union. But times have changed. Now NORAD is inviting members of the Russian military in.
This week, a group of Russian officers will train alongside their U.S. and Canadian counterparts to respond to a simulated terrorist hijacking above the Arctic Circle. One group, led by Maj. Gen. Sergei Dronov, is operating out of Norad’s HQ at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado. A second will work out of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska. Still more Russian troops will operate in Russia’s far east.
“What makes this year interesting is that the Russian personnel from the Russian Federation air force are actually here at NORAD headquarters at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs,” Royal Canadian Navy Lt. Al Blondin, a NORAD spokesman, tells Danger Room.
For all the fears of a new Cold War between the U.S. and Russia, it’s worth noting that Ivan is now training within the heart of America’s defense network. The partnership underscores how the already poor chances of an armed conflict erupting between Russia and the West is becoming even more remote.