Fighter Jets to Protect Skies During Democratic Convention
From a North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command News Release
TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla., Aug. 31, 2012 Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command Region fighters will protect the skies during the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.
Air Force fighter jets will be on alert during the convention -- which begins Sept. 4 and runs through Sept. 6 -- enforcing the Federal Aviation Administration's temporary flight restriction zone.
Meanwhile, Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command Region fighters will be active prior to the Democratic National Convention preparing to protect the skies around Charlotte.
Exercise Amalgam Virgo is designed to hone NORAD’s intercept and identification skills. Civil Air Patrol aircraft, Air Force F-16s, and a Coast Guard HH-65 Dolphin helicopter will participate in the exercise.
"Planning for special security events like this year’s Democratic National Convention in North Carolina is a part of our day to day air defense mission," said Air Force Col. Randy Spear, 601st Air and Space Operations Center commander. "A lot of agencies are involved in air security for events like the DNC. This Amalgam Virgo exercise gives us a chance to sharpen air defense skills with our interagency partners prior to the event.”
These exercises are carefully planned and closely controlled to ensure the Continental U.S. NORAD Region's rapid response capability. The Continental U.S. NORAD Region has conducted exercise flights of this nature throughout the U.S. since the start of Operation Noble Eagle, the command's response to the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
The 601st AOC is responsible for detecting, deterring, defending and if necessary, defeating any aviation threat to the citizens of the United States and to U.S. critical infrastructure. The AOC is primarily manned by the Florida Air National Guard’s 101st Air and Space Operations Group.