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May 18, 2009 - 7:33pm WASHINGTON - A pair of F-16 fighter jets will fly over downtown Washington in a series of training flights Tuesday and Wednesday morning. The Air Force says the jets will cruise over D.C. with two Cessna Civil Air Patrol planes and a Coast Guard helicopter several times between midnight and 6 a.m. Tuesday. The same set of aircraft will perform the same exercise Wednesday.
Last week’s Falcon Virgo exercise was delayed until later this week. Civil Air Patrol’s National Capital Wing flies these missions every month to help ensure the security of our nation’s capital.
Exercise Falcon Virgo is designed to hone NORAD’s intercept and identification operations, as well as procedural tests of the NCR Visual Warning System.
These exercises are carefully planned and closely controlled to ensure NORAD’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.
Since Sept. 11, 2001, NORAD fighters have responded to more than 2,100 possible air threats in the United States and have flown more than 51,000 sorties with the support of Airborne Warning and Control System and air-to-air-refueling aircraft.
NCR = National Capital Region