PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – North American Aerospace Defense Command will conduct a FALCON VIRGO air exercise Thursday, November 21, through Friday, November 22, in the National Capital Region with flights scheduled between midnight and 5:30 a.m. Eastern Time.
The air exercise includes F-16 aircraft, UC-35A aircraft, a MH-65D Dolphin helicopter and a Cessna 182T aircraft. Some portions of the exercise could involve flights at approximately 2,500 feet above ground level and may be visible from the ground. If weather prevents regularly scheduled flights, the exercise will commence the next day.
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. All NORAD exercises are carefully planned and closely controlled.
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; and has kept a watchful eye on our maritime approaches in the execution of its maritime warning mission since 2006.
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.