The North American Aerospace Defense Command and its geographical component, the Continental United States NORAD Region (CONR), have been conducting an air defense exercise in the National Capital Region (NCR) in the early morning hours this week which concluded about 0400 EST Thursday.
The exercise was comprised of a series of training flights held in coordination with the FAA, the National Capital Region Coordination Center, the Joint Air Defense Operations Center (JADOC), the Civil Air Patrol, U.S. Coast Guard and CONR’s Eastern and Western Air Defense Sectors.
Exercise Falcon Virgo was designed to hone NORAD’s intercept and identification operations as well as to operationally test the NCR Visual Warning System and to certify newly assigned Command and Control personnel at JADOC. Participating in the exercise were Civil Air Patrol aircraft, Air Force F-16 fighters and a U.S. Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter.
NORAD regularly conducts such exercises around the country. Recently, the Western Air Defense Sector (WADS) completed training over southern California and central Oregon as part of Exercise Felix Hawk in late November and early December. The exercise was designed to test WADS’ intercept and identification procedures for a variety of scenarios involving possible hostile aircraft.