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News | Oct. 12, 2012

EADS participates in Fertile Hawk exercise

By NORAD and USNORTHCOM Public Affairs

ROME, N.Y. - The Eastern Air Defense Sector here will conduct Exercise Fertile Hawk on Saturday (Oct. 13) between 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. EDT in the vicinity of Newport News, Va.

This exercise comprises a series of training flights held in coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration, Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command Region (CONR), Air Force F-16s and the Civil Air Patrol.

Exercise Fertile Hawk is designed to test EAD’s intercept and identification operations for a variety of potential scenarios involving hostile aircraft. Residents in the Newport News area may observe F-16 aircraft or CAP aircraft participating when flights are scheduled to occur.

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

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

EADS and its western counterpart - Western Air Defense Sector (WADS) at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. – are part of the Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command Region (CONR). CONR, as the continental United States (CONUS) 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 3,400 possible air threats in the United States, Canada and Alaska, and have flown more than 59,000 sorties with the support of Airborne Warning and Control System and air-to-air-refueling aircraft.