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Press Releases
Press Release | July 20, 2023

NORAD air defense exercise over eastern New Jersey

Eastern Air Defense Sector

Rome, N.Y. -- NORAD’s Continental U.S. Region (CONR) and the Eastern Air Defense Sector are scheduled to conduct Fertile Hawk, a live-fly air defense exercise on Thursday, July 20 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. EST. The exercise will take place in eastern  New Jersey in an area between Old Bridge in the north and Cape May in the south.

Under the direction of CONR, the aircraft participating in the exercise include NORAD F-16 fighters and a Civil Air Patrol C-172 aircraft. Some portions of the exercise could involve flights at approximately 3,000 feet above ground level and may be visible from the ground.  If weather prevents these scheduled flights, the exercise will occur the next day. 

NORAD routinely conducts exercises with a variety of scenarios, including airspace restriction violations, hijackings and responses to unknown aircraft. CONR carefully plans and closely controls all exercises. 

CONR is NORAD’s continental United States (CONUS) geographical component. CONR has two air defense sectors, the Eastern Air Defense Sector (EADS) and Western Air Defense Sector (WADS). 

Fertile Hawk is a recurring exercise in support of Operation NOBLE EAGLE, which places emphasis on the warning and control of airspace over Canada and the United States.  

NORAD is a bi-national command responsible for aerospace warning, aerospace control, and maritime warning for the United States and Canada. NORAD also keeps watch over Canadian and U.S. internal waterways and maritime approaches under its maritime warning mission. The defense of North America is NORAD's top priority and NORAD remains on alert and prepared to respond to security threats 24/7. 

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For more information, please contact Patrick B. Young at the Eastern Air Defense Sector at (315) 334-6055 or via e-mail at