By NORAD and USNORTHCOM Public Affairs
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – The North American Aerospace Defense Command
and its geographical component, the Continental United States NORAD Region (CONR), will
conduct Exercise Falcon Virgo 08-03 beginning Tuesday in the National Capital Region
This 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 US NORAD Region, Civil Air Patrol, US Coast Guard and CONR’s
Northeast and Western Air Defense Sectors.
Exercise Falcon Virgo 08-03 is designed to test NORAD’s intercept and identification
operations, as well as procedural tests of the NCR Visual Warning System. Civil Air Patrol
aircraft, Air Force F-16s and C-38 and Coast Guard HH-65 Dolphin helicopters will participate in
the exercise. Residents in the area can expect flights to occur during the late night and early
morning hours, on scheduled exercise dates.
In the event of inclement weather the exercise will push to the next day; further weather delays
will cancel the exercise.
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 (CONUS) 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 assets
throughout the country ensure air safety and security against potential air threats.
Since Sept. 11, 2001, NORAD fighters have responded to more than 2,729 possible air threats
in the United States, Canada and Alaska, and have flown more than 47,638 sorties with the
support of Airborne Warning and Control System and air-to-air-refueling aircraft.