This year's first planning conference of Vigilant Eagle 2014, the command post antiterrorist exercise involving Russia, the United States and Canada, has begun in the city of Colorado Springs (the state of Colorado, the U.S.), Eastern Military District (EMD) spokesman Lt. Col. Alexander Gordeyev told Interfax-AVN on Wednesday.

"The Russian side is represented at the event by the EMD Air Force and Air Defense command. The Russian military delegation is led by EMD Aerospace Defense Brigade Commander Maj. Gen. Dmitry Gomenkov," he said.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) will be represented at the conference by NORAD's Director of Joint Training and Exercises Joseph Bonnet III, he said.

On the first day of consultations EMD officers and NORAD representatives discussed the scenario for conducting the computer-based command post exercise, agreed on virtual flight routes for EMD Air Force and NORAD's escort aviation, as well as for the aircraft 'seized' by terrorists. The meeting also focused on the organization of communication channels between the exercise headquarters in Russia and the U.S., and the information support for the exercise.

"For the first time Japan Air Self-Defense Force representatives are present at the planning conference as observers," Gordeyev said.

The joint Russian-U.S.-Canadian exercise Vigilant Eagle has been held since 2006. The exercise is held every two years, with the Russian Air Force and NORAD testing their skills in practice.

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