NORAD to conduct exercise flights over the Olympic Peninsula and Puget Sound area to test response capability

By NORAD and USNORTHCOM Public Affairs | February 22, 2012

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) will conduct exercise flights today as they practice intercept and identification procedures. Exercise flights will take place over the Olympic Peninsula and Puget Sound area of Washington State.  Although they are scheduled for early morning, the exercise flights could be delayed due to weather concerns.

Those in and around the Seattle, Tacoma and Olympia Washington area may hear and/or see NORAD-controlled fighter jets in close proximity to a military or military contracted aircraft, which will be taking on the role of Tracks of Interest (TOI). In order to test responses, systems and equipment, NORAD continuously conducts exercises with a variety of scenarios, including airspace restriction violations, hijackings and responding to unknown aircraft. All NORAD exercises are carefully planned and closely controlled.

NORAD has conducted exercise flights of this nature throughout Canada and the U.S. since the start of Operation Noble Eagle, the command’s response to the terrorist attacks that occurred on Sept. 11, 2001.

NORAD is the bi-national Canadian and American command that provides maritime warning, aerospace warning and aerospace control for Canada and the United States. The command has three subordinate regional headquarters: the Alaskan NORAD Region at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska; the Canadian NORAD Region at Canadian Forces Base Winnipeg, Manitoba; and the Continental NORAD Region at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla.