Overnight NORAD Exercise Flights This Week

Practice flights designed to refine NORAD’s intercept and identification operations

By Natalie Lopez
|  Tuesday, Mar 27, 2012  |  Updated 3:03 PM EDT
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Overnight NORAD Exercise Flights This Week

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The North American Aerospace Defense Command scheduled another training exercise in the D.C. area for later this week.

Beginning Wednesday at midnight and continuing into early Thursday morning, NORAD will conduct exercise Falcon Virgo 12-06 -- exercise flights designed to refine NORAD’s intercept and identification operations and to test the NCR Visual Warning System. The exercise will include Civil Air Patrol aircraft, Air Force F-16s and a U.S. Coast Guard HH-65 Dolphin helicopter.

The flights have been conducted since the start of Operation Noble Eagle after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and are carefully planned and controlled to guarantee rapid response capacity.

If the weather conditions aren’t favorable, the flights will take place the next evening.

The exercises are a series of training flights done in coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Capital Region Coordination Center, the Joint Air Defense Operations Center, the Civil Air Patrol, U.S. Coast Guard, and Continental U.S. NORAD Region’s Western Defense Sector.

Since 9/11, Continental U.S. NORAD Region fighters have responded to more than 3,400 possible air threats in the United States and have flown more than 59,000 sorties with the support of Airborne Warning and Control System and air-to-air-refueling aircraft.

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