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Press Releases

Press Release | June 7, 2014

NORAD fighters intercept aircraft over National Capital Region

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Two F-16 fighter jets under the direction of North American Aerospace Defense Command intercepted a general aviation aircraft over Washington, D.C., today at approximately 11:30 a.m. MDT.

The Mooney M20C aircraft departed from the Westfield-Barnes Regional Airport in Westfield, Mass., and flew south into the special flight restricted area over Washington, D.C., and was out of communications with air traffic controllers.

The aircraft was escorted out of the restricted area and landed at a Mt. Airy, N.C., airport where it was met by law enforcement officials.

NORAD's mission – in close collaboration with homeland defense, security, and law enforcement partners – is to prevent air attacks against North America, safeguard the sovereign airspaces of the United States and Canada by responding to unknown, unwanted and unauthorized air activity approaching and operating within these airspaces, and provide aerospace and maritime warning for North America. NORAD may be required to monitor, shadow, divert from flight path, direct to land and/or destroy platforms deemed a potential threat to North America.

NORAD is the bi-national Canadian and American command that is responsible for the air defense of North America and maritime warning. The command has three subordinate regional headquarters: the Alaskan NORAD Region at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska; the Canadian NORAD Region at Winnipeg, Manitoba; and the Continental NORAD Region at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla.

The command is poised both tactically and strategically in our nation’s capital to provide a multilayered defense to detect, deter and prevent potential threats flying over the airspace of the United States and Canada.