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Morning Notes

Police Investigate BB Gun Bike-By Shooting — Arlington Police searched for a pair of young men on bikes last night after one of them allegedly shot a woman in the arm with a BB gun near the intersection of N. Pershing Drive and N. Thomas Street, in the Buckingham neighborhood. The suspects made a clean getaway, although one may have been briefly spotted near Ballston. The woman required medical treatment for the wound.

Pentagon Memorial Called ‘Contemplative,’ ‘Noisy’ — Visitors to the Pentagon Memorial are reportedly weirded out by the sound of low-flying planes at the Pentagon Memorial — which was built in honor of the 184 people who died when American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon’s west wall on 9/11/01. The Pentagon is along the flight path of Reagan National Airport. [Associated Press]

WaPo Sums Up the 30th District State Senate Race — As Alexandria City Councilman Rob Krupicka, Del. Adam P. Ebbin and Arlington County School Board member Libby Garvey knock on doors in the 30th state Senate district, Virginia Tech professor Craig Brians commented on the many policy similarities in the three-way primary race. “It’s so difficult for voters to figure out what the real difference is between these people,” he said. [Washington Post]

Arlington Wants Its Money Back — Arlington and other Northern Virginia localities are pushing Gov. Bob McDonnell to return some of the $311 million state budget surplus to local governments. “I think the governor’s going to hear pretty clearly from local governments that they think some of this should be restored, it not all of it,” said Arlington County Board Member Mary Hynes. [Washington Examiner]

Flickr pool photo by ddimick

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NORAD to Conduct Training Flights Tonight

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.

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Did You Hear the Fighter Jets Last Night?

NORAD conducted an air defense exercise over the Washington area late last night, startling area night owls who aren’t used to the sounds of fighter jets streaking across the sky at 1:00 a.m.

Although NORAD regularly conducts exercises in the D.C. region, for some reason this one seemed louder than others. On Twitter, we heard from Bethesda, McLean and Arlington residents who all heard the jets and wondered what was going on.

The exercise was actually scheduled for the night before, according to a press release, but was delayed a day due to inclement weather.

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