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Tuesday, December 08, 2009
NORAD exercise planned for Washington, D.C.
TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – The North American Aerospace Defense Command and its geographical component, the Continental United States NORAD Region (CONR), will conduct a one-day exercise, Falcon Virgo 10-03, beginning late Tuesday evening and continuing into the early morning hours Wednesday in the National Capital Region, Washington, D.C.
The exercise comprises a series of training flights held in coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Capital Region Command Center, the Joint Air Defense Operations Center, the Continental U.S. NORAD Region, Civil Air Patrol, U.S. Coast Guard and CONR’s Eastern Air Defense Sector.
Exercise Falcon Virgo is designed to hone NORAD’s intercept and identification operations, as well as procedural tests of the NCR Visual Warning System. Civil Air Patrol aircraft and Coast Guard HH-65 Dolphin helicopters will participate in the exercise. Residents in the area can expect flights to begin around midnight and continue through the scheduled exercise hours.
In the event of inclement weather, the exercise will take place the next day until all training requirements are met.
These exercises are carefully planned and closely controlled to ensure NORAD’s rapid response capability. NORAD has conducted exercise flights of this nature throughout the U.S. and Canada since the start of Operation Noble Eagle, the command’s response to the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
As the Continental United States geographical component of the bi-national command NORAD, CONR provides airspace surveillance and control, and directs air sovereignty activities for the CONUS region. CONR and its assigned Air Force and Army assets throughout the country ensure air safety and security against potential air threats.
Since Sept. 11, 2001, CONR fighters have responded to more than 2,300 possible air threats in the United States and have flown more than 54,000 sorties with the support of Airborne Warning and Control System and air-to-air-refueling aircraft.