NORAD NEWS

NORAD exercise planned for Washington, D.C.

By NORAD and USNORTHCOM Public Affairs | September 15, 2008

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 two day exercise, Falcon Virgo 08-12, beginning 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 Northeast 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 occur during the late night and early morning hours beginning Tuesday and continuing through the scheduled exercise dates. 

In the event of inclement weather, the exercise will push to 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 (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 and Army assets throughout the country ensure air safety and security against potential air threats. 

Since Sept. 11, 2001, NORAD fighters have responded to more than 2,100 possible air threats in the United States and have flown more than 50,000 sorties with the support of Airborne Warning and Control System and air-to-air-refueling aircraft.