NORAD NEWS

NORAD exercise planned for Washington D.C.

By NORAD and USNORTHCOM Public Affairs | December 14, 2005

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- The Continental United States NORAD Region (CONR) will conduct Exercise Falcon Virgo 06-03 in the National Capital Region (Washington, D.C.) December 15-16.

Exercise Falcon Virgo 06-03 comprises a series of training flights conducted in coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Capital Region Command Center, the Joint Air Defense Operations Center, the Civil Air Patrol, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and the Northeast Air Defense Sector.

The exercise is designed to test intercept and identification operations. It will involve multiple Cessna aircraft, a Citation 550 (Learjet), and an H-60 Blackhawk helicopter --all flying at low altitudes along the Potomac River and around Washington, D.C., during late night Thursday and early morning Friday. In the event of inclement weather, the exercise will be extended to the following day.

CONR is a regional headquarters assigned to the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD. NORAD has conducted exercises of this nature throughout the United States and Canada since the start of Operation Noble Eagle (ONE), which began after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. These ongoing exercises are carefully planned and closely controlled to ensure NORAD?s rapid response capability.

Since Sept. 11, 2001, NORAD fighters have responded to more than 2,000 ONE events in the United States, Canada and Alaska, and have flown more than 40,000 sorties with the support of Airborne Warning and Control System and air-to-air-refueling aircraft.

Note to Editors: For more information on these Falcon Virgo flight-training exercises or other NORAD missions and responsibilities, please contact CONR Public Affairs at (850) 283-8659 or the on-call CONR Public Affairs Duty Officer (after 5 p.m. CST) at (850)-625-9814.