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MOSCOW, November 13 (Itar-Tass) — Russia and NATO countries on Tuesday begin the Vigilant Skies 2012 two-day command-staff exercise. Its goal is to test the information exchange system for the prevention of terrorist threats from the air. The exercise is held within the framework of the NATO-Russia Council Cooperative Airspace Initiative (NRC CAI). The area of the exercise: Bodo - Murmansk, Warsaw - Kaliningrad and Ankara - Rostov-on-Don. The exercise is commanded by the directors form NATO and the Russian Federation.
The exercise is aimed at checking and fixing processes, procedures and capabilities of the CAI information exchange system. It is based on the results achieved during the previous CAI exercises and seminars. The participants’ skills tested during the exercise will contribute to the organisation of the possible “live” exercise in 2013 in the Black Sea area.
NRC CAI was adopted at the first summit of the NATO-Russia Council in Rome in May 2002 and its goal is to reduce the risk of terrorist attacks with the use of civilian aircraft. The problem is solved through the development of cooperation and coordination in surveillance of airspace and air traffic control. “It helps to increase the transparency, confidence of the parties, as well as to strengthen the capabilities needed to prevent incidents related to security,” the head of the NATO-Russia Coordination Centre, Stanislav Kishenkov, said.
The exercise with the actual flight of a “violator aircraft” and the use of interceptor aircraft to neutralise the actions of the “malefactors” was conducted in the summer of 2011. The NRC CAI information exchange system passed the test successfully during the exercise.
According to Stanislav Kishenkov, the Coordination Centre of Russia and NATO “receive the necessary information from its local centres, and they - from the existing civil aviation air traffic control centres.” In Russia, this function is assigned to the State Air Traffic Management (ATM) Corporation. The ATM State Corporation is part of the Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsiya).