Russia has been flexing its muscles lately, sending long-range bombers around the globe, from the Arctic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico. While no one is saying there’s any connection, the North American Aerospace Defense Command says it will be conducting exercises over the Washington area between midnight tonight (Monday) and 2 a.m. Tuesday.
The exercises are carefully planned and closely controlled, NORAD said in a press advisory, adding that 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.
The exercise is composed 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 Continental United States NORAD Region’s (CONR) Eastern Air Defense Sector.
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 directsair 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.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu earlier this month said that Russia would be sending long-range strategic bombers on regular patrol missions across the globe. He said the planes would conduct â€œreconnaissance missions to monitor foreign powersâ€™ military activities and maritime communications,â€ according to The Washington Post.