Vigilant Skies 2013

  • 27 Sep. 2013 -
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  • Press Release (2013) 106
  • Issued on 23 Sep. 2013
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  • Last updated: 24 Sep. 2013 12:11

A live exercise, Vigilant Skies 2013, to test the NATO-Russia Council’s Cooperative Airspace Initiative (CAI) Information Exchange System (IES) will take place on 23 – 27 September 2013 over the three CAI geographical areas of operational interest, Bodø – Murmansk, Warsaw – Kaliningrad and Ankara – Rostov-on-Don.

The exercise taking into account the lessons identified from current CAI operation and previous exercises in 2011 and 2012 aims to further test and consolidate the processes, procedures and capabilities of the CAI network.

As an example of scenario, an aircraft starts behaving erratically, as it has been hijacked to be used as a weapon. The CAI operating crews utilizing 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 CAI was launched at the first NATO-Russia Council summit in Rome in May 2002. The purpose 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.

Current 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 three pairs of area air traffic control centres (Bodø – Murmansk, Warsaw – Kaliningrad and Ankara – Rostov-on-Don) 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. The CAI IES was declared operational in December 2011.

The project is financed by the participating NATO nations and the Russian Federation.

For the media: press conferences on the outcomes of the exercise, which will including senior NATO and national official participation will be held in Moscow and Warsaw on September 25, to register, please see details below:

For Moscow, please see:

For Warsaw, please register by 24 September 15h (Warsaw local time), with Mr Grzegorz Chlebowicz, Polish Air Services Navigation Agency, tel.: + 48 609 501 241, e-mail: