Press Releases

WADS conducts air defense exercise over Houston

UNRELEASED | March 19, 2014
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. -- The Western Air Defense Sector will conduct air defense exercise Felix Hawk over the Houston area March 19, 2014.

Felix Hawk is designed to test WADS’ intercept and identification procedures for a variety of scenarios involving possible hostile aircraft. Residents in the Houston areas may observe F-16 aircraft or T-1 aircraft participating in the exercise between 10:00 a.m. and noon CDT. These training flights are coordinated with the Federal Aviation Administration and the Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command Region.

In the event of inclement weather the exercise will be canceled.

These exercises are carefully planned and closely controlled to ensure WADS’s rapid response capability. WADS has conducted exercise flights of this nature throughout the western region since the start of Operation Noble Eagle, the command’s response to the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

WADS and its eastern counterpart - Eastern Air Defense Sector in Rome, N.Y., are part of the Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command Region. CONR, as the continental United States geographical component of the bi-national command NORAD, 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 5,000 possible air threats in the United States, Canada and Alaska, and have flown more than 62,5000 sorties with the support of Airborne Warning and Control System and air-to-air-refueling aircraft.