Don’t be surprised if you see helicopters and some small planes flying around the D.C. area this morning — it’s all part of a military training exercise.
The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) says the air defense exercise will be conducted between 11 a.m. and noon. It will involve Coast Guard helicopters and general aviation aircraft — often smaller prop planes.
“Portions of the exercise may… be visible from the ground,” NORAD said in a social media post.
We will conduct an air defense exercise over the Washington DC area btw 11am to noon EDT.
US Coast Guard MH-65D helicopters and general aviation aircraft will be participating. Portions of the exercise may take place at approx. 2,500 ft and be visible from the ground. pic.twitter.com/TofXWHj4OF
— North American Aerospace Defense Command (@NORADCommand) April 20, 2021
Flickr pool photo by J. Sonder
NORAD Exercises This Week — “We will conduct air defense exercise Falcon Virgo between midnight and 5:30 a.m. (ET) Sept.1-3 in the Washington, D.C. area. The exercise includes U.S. Air Force F-16 fighter aircraft, a U.S. Army C-12, a U.S. Coast Guard MH-65D helicopter, and a Civil Air Patrol Cessna 182T. Some portions of the exercise may involve flights at approximately 2,500 feet and may be visible from the ground.” [Facebook]
The Backstory Behind Chasin’ Tails — Cajun seafood restaurant Chasin’ Tails, in East Falls Church, along with Happy Endings Eatery in Rosslyn, are owned by two brothers who became globetrotting multi-millionaires by playing online poker. [Washingtonian]
Rosslyn Company to Be Acquired — “Arlington language learning company Rosetta Stone Inc. is being acquired by private equity-backed Cambium Learning Group Inc. for $792 million. The all-cash deal announced Monday values Rosetta Stone (NYSE: RST) at about $30 per share, about 87% higher than its closing price on July 16.” [Washington Business Journal]
Long-time Journalist Dies — “William R. Neikirk, an award-winning economics and political journalist who spent nearly 35 years with the Chicago Tribune and served as White House correspondent during the Clinton administration, died Aug. 27 at his home in Arlington, Va. He was 82. The cause was dementia and complications from the novel coronavirus.” [Washington Post]
Kanye on Va. Ballot — “Rapper Kanye West has qualified to appear on Virginia’s presidential ballot in November, according to state election officials. Elections officials confirmed Friday evening that West will appear on the ballot as an independent after verifying he submitted 5,000 petition signatures from Virginia voters.” [InsideNova]
Nearby: D.C. Offices Nearly Deserted — “Only 5 percent of office workers in downtown DC were in their workplaces at the end of July, according to a new report from the DowntownDC BID. Economic activity in downtown DC, it found, was 12 percent of what it was the year before.” [Washingtonian]
Crows Are Swarming Rosslyn at Dusk — “As the sun begins to sink below the horizon, ghostly caws and flapping wings echo through the air. Then, they come in droves. Hundreds, if not thousands, of huge, black birds darken the sky, swooping through buildings and swarming like giant gnats. This Hitchcockian scene is a typical Tuesday in North Rosslyn.” [Washingtonian]
New Candidate for School Board — Cristina Diaz-Torres has announced that she is running for Arlington School Board to replace Tannia Talento, who is not seeking a second term. Diaz-Torres is planning a campaign launch event on Columbia Pike this Sunday. [Twitter, Facebook]
Arlington Residents Are Up at All Hours — “The massive Nov. 8 water-main break underneath Chain Bridge Road taught Arlington public-works officials a number of lessons. Among them: Some county residents are up and at ’em in the wee hours of the morning. The county government received its first call complaining of no water at 2:59 a.m., a mere three minutes after the rupture of the 36-inch, 75-year-old pipe.” [InsideNova]
More on GMU Arlington Campus Expansion — “As George Mason University leaders celebrate the 40th anniversary of the school’s Arlington campus, they promise that its Amazon-inspired expansion will be ‘unlike any building ever built’ by a state institution.” [Washington Business Journal]
Upgrades for 911 Call Center — “The County’s 9-1-1 call processing system was upgraded today! Our staff are thrilled to have made the switch to this top of the line system that will allow us to best collaborate with neighboring jurisdictions and serve the community.” [Twitter]
NORAD Exercises Planned Tonight — “Don’t be frightened if you see and hear military aircraft speeding overhead… The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) is expected to conduct air exercises over the Washington area from Thursday night into early Friday morning. Flights are scheduled between midnight and 5:30 a.m.” [WTOP]
Five Year Anniversary of Streetcar Cancellation — “Five years ago this week – Nov. 18, 2014 – County Board Chairman Jay Fisette stood somewhat grimly in front of a microphone and TV cameras to announce that Arlington officials were abandoning plans for a streetcar system in the Columbia Pike corridor.” [InsideNova]
Nearby: Food Star to Open in Bailey’s Crossroads — “A Food Star grocery store is opening up in the former Toys R Us building at 5521 Leesburg Pike in Bailey’s Crossroads – possibly by the end of the year.” [Annandale Blog]
The Pentagon’s police force will be holding a training exercise Saturday, prompting the closure of the Pentagon Metro and bus stations.
The Pentagon Force Protection Agency said Pentagon transit stations will be closed between 3 a.m.-2 p.m. The emergency-response exercise itself is slated to start at 8 a.m.
“If you see activities near the Pentagon, do not be alarmed,” the agency said via social media, “it is part of the exercise.
@PFPAOfficial will conduct an emergency-response exercise Sat., July 27, 8AM, @Pentagon. Pentagon Metro/bus stations will be closed 3AM-2PM. Buses will bypass the Pentagon & go2 Pentagon City. If you see activities near the Pentagon, do not be alarmed; it is part of the exercise. pic.twitter.com/e4uleHf0NI
— Pentagon Force Protection Agency (Official) (@PFPAOfficial) July 26, 2019
Flickr pool photo by ksrjghkegkdhgkk
Amazon and Local Real Estate — “Amazon has yet to break ground in Northern Virginia for its second headquarters, but residents are already turning away persistent speculators, recalculating budgets for down payments on homes and fighting rent increases.” [New York Times]
Low Young Adult Home Ownership — “Arlington ties with Richmond for the lowest home-ownership rate among young adults in the commonwealth, according to a new analysis… only 16 percent of young adults living in Arlington were homeowners – perhaps not surprising given the cost of real estate in the county.” [InsideNova]
HQ2 Helps Va. Rank as Top State for Business — “CNBC has named Virginia America’s ‘Top State for Business’ in 2019. CNBC unveiled Virginia as the top state for business [Wednesday] morning during a live broadcast from Shenandoah River State Park, and Governor Northam was on location to discuss the announcement.” [CNBC, Gov. Ralph Northam, Twitter, Arlington Economic Development, Washington Business Journal]
Amazon Information Meeting — Officials from Amazon and Arlington County discussed the company’s HQ2 plan and its approval process at a public meeting near Shirlington last night. [Twitter]
More on 5G in Arlington — “Arlington is preparing its commercial corridors for the next generation of mobile broadband technology — 5G. The impact? Mobile download speeds for movies, video games, apps and more up to 100 times faster than today.” [Arlington County]
County Seeking Volunteers for Disaster Drill — “The County is seeking volunteers to participate in Capital Fortitude, a full-scale emergency exercise designed to evaluate the National Capital Region’s ability to dispense medication quickly in response to an anthrax attack. From 10 a.m. to noon on Friday, July 19, Arlington will join 24 jurisdictions around the region in hosting a Point of Dispensing (POD) exercise.” [Arlington County]
Flood-Damaged Road Reopening — “Update [on] July 10… Crews expect to have one lane of 18th St N between N Lexington St and N McKinley Road reopen to traffic this evening. Repairs to the other lane set for completion tomorrow. 20th St N at George Mason is [reopened] with minor repairs still pending.” [Twitter]
Residents and passersby may see fire and smoke may coming Reagan National Airport this weekend, but don’t worry — it’s just a drill.
The airport will be testing its emergency preparedness plan by simulating an airline crash with hundreds of pretend casualties, officials say. The full-scale disaster drill will be held from 9:00-11:30 a.m. on Saturday.
“During the exercise, smoke, fire, participants with mock injuries and a large number of emergency response vehicles may be visible to passengers and the public,” said the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.
“Activities will be concentrated on the south side of the airfield in a controlled area near Runway 4,” MWAA said in a press release.
The drill will test how officials respond to a fiery airplane crash — from battling the flames, to triaging and transporting victims, and to coordinating communications with the public.
For those interested in participating, the airport is seeking volunteer victims who are at least 18 years old and have some clothes they don’t mind being destroyed by “moulage” — a.k.a. costume wound materials like fake blood.
All told, the airport hopes to attract 130 victims for the event.
Federal Aviation Administration regulations require airports develop emergency plans for disasters and test them with a full-scale disaster drill every three years. Saturday’s drill comes three years after DCA’s last drill in 2016.
MWAA also warns scanner listeners that they may hear first responders participating in the simulated scenario on Saturday.
Image via Eventbrite
Law enforcement officers from around Northern Virginia will convene in Arlington later this month for a training exercise simulating a terrorist attack or some sort of other “active violence incident.”
County police announced this week that the training will take place on Sunday, March 31. But they declined to release any details about its timing or location, except to say that it would involve “multiple locations throughout the region.”
“The public should not experience any significant impacts to traffic routes or public facilities,” police wrote in a news release. “Members of the public will see an increase in public safety vehicles and law enforcement officers in the area but should not be alarmed or concerned as they will be part of the exercise play.”
Police say the exercise will “provide participants with an opportunity to assess capabilities, plans, policies and procedures outlined in a recently developed Complex Coordinated Attack Traffic Management Plan.”
“It will focus on decision-making, coordination and integration with other organizations during an active violence incident,” police said.
The Northern Virginia Emergency Response System, a joint effort to prepare for emergencies by the area’s law enforcement agency is sponsoring the exercise. Funding will come from the Department of Homeland Security.
The following agencies plan to participate:
- Arlington County Police Department
- Fairfax County Police Department
- Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority
- Metro Transit Police Department
- Virginia Department of Transportation
- Virginia State Police
- U.S. Park Police
Police say that neither members of the public nor the media will be allowed access to the exercise and its participants.
Arlington has been the site of several other terrorism, or mass violence, exercises in past years as well.
The U.S. Coast Guard vessels will be on the Potomac River near Arlington this afternoon for a tactics training session.
The exercise will take place from approximately 3:30-7:30 p.m. today (Wednesday) between Memorial Bridge and the 14th Street Bridge. During the exercise, crews will simulate a secure zone around a valuable asset.
No live fire or blanks will be used, though anyone on the water at that time should be extra vigilant.
More from the U.S. Coast Guard:
On Wednesday, 06 DEC 2017, Coast Guard Station Washington will be conducting boat tactics training from approximately 1530 to 1930. Location for this training will be the Upper Potomac River between Arlington Memorial Bridge and 14th St. Bridge. We will be using orange Coast Guard boats, with flashing blue lights, simulating a security zone around a high value asset. There will be no live fire or blanks used during this training; this is only a tactics and maneuvering drill. There will be a broadcast to notify mariners to exercise caution in the area for the duration of the exercise.
Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman
From approximately 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., the northbound lanes of S. George Mason Drive will be closed between Columbia Pike and Arlington Blvd (Route 50) to accommodate the exercise.
“Realistic training is critical to enhancing the police department’s capabilities to serve and protect the community to the best of our ability,” organizers wrote. “Those traveling in the area can expect to see an increase in public safety presence but are reminded that this is a training exercise only.”
From 9 a.m. to noon, the Presidential Salute Battery Guns Platoon of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment — known as The Old Guard — will fire off 168 rounds from a dozen 75mm howitzers.
Each of the 12 teams operating a howitzer will fire seven rounds, spaced out at five-second intervals, then fire four separate 21-gun volleys spaced at three-second intervals for each round.
Those in the area should expect to hear loud noise during the exercise.
The battery will be set up in The Old Guard’s Regimental parking lot, close to the intersection of Arlington Blvd and N. Pershing Drive. They will be firing blank training rounds in the direction of Summerall Field, the base’s ceremonial field.
The platoon fires cannons at ceremonies to honor the President of the United States, for visiting foreign dignitaries, during official government ceremonies, regional celebrations and during military funerals.
Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall is holding an active shooter training exercise this morning.
The exercise is being held from 9 a.m. to noon. Locals should expect at least one of the base’s gates — the one near the Sheraton hotel along Columbia Pike — to be closed periodically during the exercise.
From the JBMHH public affairs office:
Please be advised that emergency response activity may be seen at the base and in the surrounding communities during the exercise.
Henderson Hall Gate 1, off Southgate Road and S. Orme Street in Arlington, will be closed intermittently between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. during the exercise.
All other gates, to include Hatfield and Wright Gates, will remain open. Drivers to the base should plan to use the other gates between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. to avoid the Gate 1 closure. As a reminder, both Henderson Hall Gate 1 and Wright Gate are for DoD ID card holders only.
Please refer to JBM-HH Facebook at www.facebook.com/jbmhh for additional updates.