Unlike last month's Air Force One snafu flight over New York City, the Pentagon is making sure a similar flight exercise over the Washington, DC, area doesn't come as a surprise. According to a North American Aerospace Defense Command statement released today:
The North American Aerospace Defense Command and its geographical component, the Continental United States NORAD Region, will conduct exercise Falcon Virgo 09-07, on May 15 and 19 between midnight and 6:00 a.m. in the National Capital Region (NCR), Washington, D.C.
The exercise comprises a series of training flights held 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 (CONR), Civil Air Patrol, U.S. Coast Guard and CONR's Western Air Defense Sector.
Exercise Falcon Virgo is designed to hone NORAD's intercept and identification operations, as well as procedural tests of the NCR Visual Warning System. Two Civil Air Patrol Cessna aircraft, two Air Force F-16s and one Coast Guard HH-65 Dolphin helicopter will participate in the exercise. Residents may see these aircraft approaching and flying in the vicinity of the Washington D.C. area as part of this exercise during the late night and early morning hours from midnight through 6:00 a.m. on May 15th and the 19th.
-- John Liang