NORAD Officials Reschedule Capital-area Exercise
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, May 18, 2009 A North American Aerospace Defense Command exercise designed to test the command’s aerospace defense capabilities in the national capital area has been rescheduled after inclement weather last week forced its postponement.
Exercise Falcon Virgo, originally planned for the May 15-16 overnight period, now is scheduled for May 19-20.
Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon jets, Coast Guard Dolphin choppers and Civil Air Patrol Cessnas will participate in the exercise over the nation’s capital and its suburbs. A number of Falcon Virgo exercises have taken place since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, officials said. The most recent one over Washington was in March.
“The exercise is always held in the middle of the night to not interfere with civilian air traffic,” Pentagon spokeswoman Air Force Lt. Col. Almarah Belk said. “The aircraft involved follow all noise abatement procedures.”
The exercise is in coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Capital Region Command Center, the Joint Air Defense Operations Center, the Continental U.S. NORAD Region, the Civil Air Patrol and the Coast Guard.
Residents in the area can expect flights to occur shortly after midnight and into the early morning hours of May 20. The exercise should wrap up during the morning.