Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Air Defense Exercises Planned In Minneapolis On Tuesday

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Twin Cities residents should be advised that planes will be flying over Minneapolis Tuesday afternoon as part of an air defense exercise.

Officials say Exercise Falcon Hawk is designed to improve and one NORAD’s (North American Aerospace Defense Command) intercept and identification operations with live-fly training exercises. Authorities say Air Force F-16s, C-21s and Civil Air Patrol Cessna aircraft will be involved in Tuesday’s exercise.

Flights are scheduled for between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. They’re held in coordination with the FAA and are controlled to ensure NORAD’s rapid response capability.

So don’t be alarmed if you see the planes, it’s a training exercise.


Heads-up: Here's the lowdown on those fighter jets buzzing over Twin Cities

"Any idea what the fighter jet was doing over Shakopee?"

Those fighter jets buzzing around town in a high-elevation game of cat and mouse are part of a 3-hour military exercise that is scheduled to run until 4 p.m.

The F-16 aircraft are flying under the direction of the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or more commonly known as NORAD.

These aircraft "routinely conduct training exercises of this nature throughout the country to hone their intercept and identification skills," said Thomas Saunders, a spokesman for Tyndale Air Force Base in Florida.

Saunders said that he was getting the word out about the exercises "to alleviate any concern ... when you look up and see a fighter jet chasing another plane."

And sure enough, an e-mail sent to the Star Tribune at 1:45 p.m. Monday read, "Any idea what the fighter jet was doing over Shakopee? It U-turned heading north as it seemed to be pursuing another plane." A commenter on the Star Tribune's Facebook account said he saw the exercise unfolding over Woodbury.

Another wrote: "I covered my ears and wondered if the sound barrier was gonna break!!!"

Also involved in the exercise are the Air Force's C-21 cargo and passenger aircraft and Cessnas in the Civil Air Patrol.

These exercises have been conducted since the start of "Operation Noble Eagle" in response to the Sept. 11 terror attacks.


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