U.S. Officials announced this past Sunday that a series of routine air defense drills in the sky over Washington D.C. is now expected to take place throughout the midnight hours this week.
North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) officials explained in a recent news release which was made public on the 14th of February, between the hours of midnight and 2:30 a.m. EST within the National Capital Region, a live-fly air defense Falcon Virgo exercise, which is described on the official website as an intercept and identification operation during airspace security events.
“The Defense of North America is NORAD’s top priority, and NORAD remains on alert around the clock, every day,” stated Lt. Gen. Kirk Pierce. “It is an honor to serve our citizens.”
This recent announcement from NORAD takes place as we experience extreme national security concerns in the wake of U.S. officials ordering the takedown of four objects flying over North America this past month, including at least one Chinese spy balloon off the coast of South Carolina and three additional and similar objects in Alaska, Michigan, and Canada.
Aircraft taking part in the Tuesday morning exercise include U.S. Air Force F-16 fighter jets, U.S. Coast Guard MH-65D Dolphin helicopter, U.S. Army C-12 aircraft, and Civil Air Patrol Cessna 182T general aviation aircraft, explained the release that was made public.
Various parts of the announced exercise could involve aircraft making maneuvers at roughly 2,500 feet, which is low enough for the residents of the area to watch easily.
Officials with NORAD created Falcon Virgo as just a piece of Operation Noble Eagle after the past terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, which aims to try and protect North America from various threats in its airspace.
“NORAD routinely conducts exercises with various scenarios, including airspace restriction violations, hijackings, and responses to unknown aircraft,” explains the release. “All NORAD exercises are carefully planned and closely controlled.”
The national defense group carried out a number of similar routine exercises overtop Washington, D.C., back at the start of 2021.