PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – North American Aerospace Defense Command will conduct air defense exercise at McGhee Tyson Airport near Knoxville, Tennessee this week with exercise flights scheduled on 20-21 November over the greater Alcoa, TN and Waynesville, NC areas.
NORAD F-16’s, Beechcraft Baron and Cessna general aviation aircraft will participate in the exercise. Some portions of the exercise could involve flights at approximately 9,000 feet and may be visible from the ground. The exercise will also include ground-based air defense assets that will be located at the airport.
To test responses, systems and equipment, NORAD routinely conducts exercises with a variety of scenarios, including airspace restriction violations, hijackings and responding to unknown aircraft. NORAD carefully plans and closely controls all exercises.
The defense of North America is NORAD’s top priority. NORAD is on alert around the clock, every day. For more than 60 years, NORAD aircraft have identified and intercepted potential air threats to North America in the execution of the command’s aerospace warning and aerospace control missions.
Operation NOBLE EAGLE applies to all air sovereignty and air defense missions in North America. NORAD is a bi-national command focused on the defense of both the U.S. and Canada. NORAD’s response to potential aerospace threats does not distinguish between the two nations and draws on forces from both countries.