Exercise DETERMINED DRAGON

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Exercise DETERMINED DRAGON (Ex DD) is an annual training event that exercises the Canadian Joint Operation Command’s (CJOC) ability to execute various scenarios in defence of North America and global defence operations.

This national-level exercise enables CJOC to achieve an increased level of preparedness through practicing its role as a command headquarters (HQ) during operations at home and abroad. 

Strategic objectives

Ex DD has a number of strategic objectives including:

  • exercising HQ responsibilities;
  • enhancing interagency partnerships;
  • institutionalizing battle procedures with partners such as regional and component commanders, the Strategic Joint Staff, the Associate Deputy Minister (Policy), and the Canadian Forces Intelligence Command;
  • bilateral planning with United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) and United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM); and
  • CJOC coordination with NORAD.

Ex DD includes a robust lessons learned process that facilitates the application of best practices for future Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) exercises and operations. 

Linked Exercises

Ex DD is Canada’s contribution to Exercise VIGILANT SHIELD and is bound to other allied exercises by a common scenario and linked through multiple events:

  • Ex VIGILANT SHIELD is a NORAD-USNORTHCOM exercise focused on homeland defence and homeland security missions; and
  • Ex GLOBAL THUNDER is a USSTRATCOM-led exercise with the primary emphasis on exercising nuclear command and control capabilities.

Ex DD offers an opportunity for regional joint task forces (RJTF) to conduct their own exercises while being synchronized through a common scenario. Participating RJTFs are responsible for the execution of their respective exercise, as well as determining their own training objectives and level of participation.

Background

Origins

In September 2009, NORAD, USNORTHCOM and Canada Command (a predecessor to CJOC) signed the Framework for Enhanced Military Cooperation which codified the close relationships among the three commands and ensured a timely and coordinated response to defence and security challenges to North America.

The framework’s goal is to promote enhanced military cooperation in the preparation and conduct of defence, security, and safety operations in North America, including the Arctic.

Past Deployents

2016

Exercise DETERMINED DRAGON 16

Ex DD 16 focused on the joint defence of North America, specifically the joint and combined control and command of the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) and the Canadian NORAD Region. The exercise was conducted in two phases:

  • the contingency planning phase from September 12 to 23, 2016; and
  • the live-fly phase from October 17 to 21, 2016.
2015

Exercise DETERMINED DRAGON 15

Ex DD 15 focused on defending North America, supporting the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) and the Canadian NORAD Region, and integrating cyber and space domains into operations. The exercise was conducted in two phases:

  • the planning phase from September 1to 18, 2015; and
  • the execution phase from November 2 to 8, 2015;
2014

Exercise DETERMINED DRAGON 14

Ex DD 14 primarily focused on the cooperation between NORAD, USNORTHCOM and USSTRATCOM, specifically in cyber and space domains. It was conducted in three phases:

  • the contingency plan development phase from June to August 2014;
  • the planning phase in September and October 2014; and
  • the execution phase from October 20 to 29, 2014.  
2013

Exercise DETERMINED DRAGON 13

Ex DD 13 took place in two phases: the planning phase from September 9 to 27, 2013 and the execution phase from October 28 to November 1, 2013.  It primarily focused on the flow of information within the CJOC HQ and the integration of cyber and space components into CAF operations.

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