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NORAD to Conduct Training Flights Tonight

by ARLnow.com May 4, 2011 at 2:51 pm 3,261 13 Comments

Washington area residents are in for another night of off-and-on noise as NORAD prepares to conduct another aerial exercise.

NORAD will conduct exercise Falcon Virgo 11-08 from 11:30 tonight to 5:00 tomorrow morning. The exercise will “hone NORAD’s intercept and identification operations as well as operationally test the NCR Visual Warning System.” Among the aircraft expected to participate are Air Force F-16s and a U.S. Coast Guard HH-65 Dolphin helicopter.

When NORAD conducted a similar exercise last month, some Arlington residents complained about being woken up in the middle of the night by loud jet noises.

Here’s the press release about tonight’s exercise from NORAD:

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – The North American Aerospace Defense Command and its geographical component, the Continental United States NORAD Region (CONR), will conduct exercise Falcon Virgo 11-08 beginning Wednesday night into early Thursday morning in the National Capital Region, Washington, D.C.

The exercise is comprised of a series of training flights held in coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Capital Region Coordination Center, the Joint Air Defense Operations Center, Civil Air Patrol, U.S. Coast Guard and CONR’s Eastern and Western Air Defense Sectors.

Flights in the National Capital Region are scheduled to take place between 11:30 p.m. Wednesday and 5 a.m. Thursday morning. Exercise Falcon Virgo is designed to hone NORAD’s intercept and identification operations as well as operationally test the NCR Visual Warning System. Civil Air Patrol aircraft, Air Force F-16s and a U.S. Coast Guard HH-65 Dolphin helicopter will participate in the exercise.

These exercises are carefully planned and closely controlled to ensure CONR’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 command’s response to the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

In the event of inclement weather, the exercise will take place the next day, until all training requirements are met. 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 3,400 possible air threats in the United States and have flown more than 59,000 sorties with the support of Airborne Warning and Control System and air-to-air-refueling aircraft.

  • PhilL


    • Arlington, Northside

      The SOUND of Freedom!!!!

    • mls

      …said Brick

  • Cas

    Why does have to be a weekday. Can’t they do this on a weekend at least?

    • South Arlington

      I’d much prefer a weeknight to ruining my weekend catch up sleeps.

  • Thanks for the heads up. I may slip in some ear plugs tonight.

  • MC 703

    Awesome. Wish it was during the day so I could see the jets buzzing around.

    • mls

      I’ve noticed that by the time one hears those jets, they’re out of sight. I hear them during the day occasionally.

      • MC 703

        I’m 10 floors up and can see almost to the MD side across from the powerplant on Rt 1 so I may have had a better shot then most.. If I wasn’t drunk at that time.

  • KalashniKEV


  • TGEoA

    There was a flyover a few hours ago.

    • PCity

      Yeah, I felt that too. Right over DCA apparently.

  • MajSolomon_CAPNationalPATeamLeader

    Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with more than 61,000 members nationwide. CAP, in its Air Force auxiliary role, performs 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and was credited by the AFRCC with saving 113 lives in fiscal year 2010. Its volunteers also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. The members play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to the more than 26,000 young people currently participating in CAP cadet programs. CAP has been performing missions for America for 69 years. It is a major partner of Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans. For more information on Civil Air Patrol, visit http://www.gocivilairpatrol.com or http://www.capvolunteernow.com.


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