Practice Intercept Flights Test Responses, Systems, Equipment
North American Aerospace Defense Command conducted exercise flights over Minnesota northwest of Duluth Tuesday, practicing intercept and identification procedures. The fighter jets were scheduled to fly near Sturgeon River in close proximity to military or military contracted aircraft taking on the role of an intercepted aircraft. The jets are often visible or audibly noticeable to the general public during such operations. Flights are generally scheduled in the early morning hours, but can be delayed by inclement weather.
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 Canada and 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, FL.
(File photo of NORAD F-16 "intercepting" a CAP aircraft during practice)