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News | April 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 (NORAD) will conduct exercise flights today in various locations across the U.S. as they practice intercept and identification procedures. Exercise flights are planned for Florida, northern Minnesota, southwestern New Mexico and off the coast of California. Although they are scheduled for early morning, these exercise flights could be delayed due to weather concerns.

Locations include:

• Areas between Big Cypress National Park, Port Labelle, Clewiston and Orlando, Florida;

• areas around Grand Rapids, Virginia and Duluth in northern Minnesota;

• isolated areas of the southwestern part of New Mexico, near the Arizona State line; and

• off the coast of Los Angeles, California, around San Nicolas Island.

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.

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.