The North American Aerospace Defense Command and its geographical component, the Continental United States NORAD Region (CONR), will conduct exercise Falcon Virgo 14-11 Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, in the National Capital Region, Washington, D.C. Flights are scheduled to take place between midnight and 2 a.m. (EDT).
The exercise is comprised of a series of training flights held in coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Capital Region (NCR) Coordination Center, the Joint Air Defense Operations Center (JADOC), Civil Air Patrol, U.S. Coast Guard and CONRâ€™s Eastern Air Defense Sector.
Exercise Falcon Virgo is designed to hone NORADâ€™s intercept and identification operations as well as operationally test the NCR Visual Warning System and training personnel at the JADOC. Civil Air Patrol aircraft and a U.S. Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter will participate in the exercise.
These exercises are carefully planned and closely controlled to ensure CONRâ€™s rapid response capability. NORAD has conducted exercise flights of this nature throughout the U.S. and Canada since the start of Operation Noble Eagle, the commandâ€™s response to the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
In the event of inclement weather, the exercise will take place the following evening. If bad weather continues, officials will then make a decision to postpone or cancel the exercise.
As the Continental United States geographical component of the bi-national command NORAD, CONR provides airspace surveillance and control, and directs air sovereignty activities for the CONUS region. CONR and its assigned Air Force and Army assets throughout the country ensure air safety and security against potential air threats.
Since Sept. 11, 2001, CONR fighters have responded to more than 5,000 possible air threats in the United States and have flown more than 62,500 sorties with the support of Airborne Warning and Control System and air-to-air-refueling aircraft.