The North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, conducted a planned live-fly air defense exercise over southwest Nebraska-northwest Kansas and northeastern Colorado Wednesday
The agency says NORAD F-16 Fighting Falcons, an E-3 Sentry AWACS, and civilian aircraft participated in the exercise. Aircraft operated at approximately 8,000 feet, and may have been visible to the public.
To test responses, systems and equipment, NORAD routinely conducts air defense exercises using a variety of scenarios, including airspace restriction violations, hijackings and responding to unknown aircraft. All NORAD exercises are carefully planned and are closely controlled.
The defense of Canada and the United States is NORAD’s top priority. Operation NOBLE EAGLE is the name given to air sovereignty and air defense missions in North America.
For more than 65 years, NORAD aircraft have identified and intercepted potential air threats to North America in the execution of the command’s aerospace warning and aerospace control missions.
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Photo via NORAD