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News | June 18, 2012

NORAD conducts exercise flights in various locations across U.S.

By NORAD and USNORTHCOM Public Affairs

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. - The North American Aerospace Defense Command will conduct exercise flights from 19 to 21 June 2012 in various locations across the U.S. as they practice intercept and identification procedures. Exercise flights are planned for Washington State, northern Minnesota, north-western Arizona, western and southern Texas, southeastern Arizona and eastern Colorado.

Although they are scheduled for early morning, these exercise flights could be delayed due to weather concerns.

Locations include:

• Areas near Seattle and along the coast of Washington State on 19 June;

• areas along the Canada/U.S border near Lake of the Woods, Minnesota on 19 and 21 June;

• isolated areas of the Mohave Desert in Arizona on 20 and 21 June;

• eastern Colorado, and near Peterson Air Force Base on 20 June.

• southern Texas near Houston and the shores of the Gulf of Mexico on 20 June; and,

• isolated areas of southeastern Arizona and southwestern Texas on 21 June;

Those in the vicinity of the locations listed above 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.

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 the U.S. since the start of Operation Noble Eagle, the command’s response to the terrorist attacks that occurred on Sept. 11, 2001.