1/29/2013 – TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AFNS) — Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command Region fighter jets, along with interagency partners, have been busy well before Super Bowl Sunday preparing to protect the skies around the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.
Just like the teams in the Super Bowl, the Continental U.S. NORAD Region and their (CONR) member partners practice before the big game.
Exercise Falcon Virgo 13 – Super Bowl, a NORAD air defense exercise, took place Jan. 29 in the greater New Orleans area to allow interagency partners the chance to practice procedures for responding to airspace violations.
The Falcon Virgo exercise is a series of training flights in coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration, FBI, Customs and Border Protection, Civil Air Patrol, 601st Air and Space Operations Center, and CONR Western Air Defense Sector. These agencies are part of America’s team for defense of the air space around the nation, including major events such as the Super Bowl.
New Orleans residents experienced the sights and sound of the exercise starting 7 a.m. CST with back-up dates, if necessary, slated for Jan. 30.
“A key aspect of our daily air defense measures lies in our interagency coordination,” said Lt. Gen. Sid Clarke, CONR commander. “This Falcon Virgo exercise is the perfect opportunity for the Continental U.S. NORAD Region and all our interagency partners to work together honing our air defense skills before Sunday’s big game.”
These exercises are carefully planned and closely controlled to ensure CONR’s rapid response capability, officials said, noting that their region has conducted exercise flights of this nature throughout the United States since the start of Operation Noble Eagle, the nation’s ongoing response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
“When it comes to defending America’s skies, whether it’s Super Bowl Sunday or any other day, the men and women of the Continental U.S. NORAD Region and America’s air operations center are always on duty,” Clarke said. “We are America’s airmen on the watch.”
Since 9/11, Continental U.S. NORAD Region fighter jets have responded to more than 5,000 possible air threats in the United States and have flown more than 62,500 sorties with the support of Airborne Warning and Control System and air-to-air-refueling aircraft for Operation Noble Eagle.
(Courtesy of Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command)
Similar to Drills conducted on 911?
From April 18th 2012 (anybody see anything?)
The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) will conduct exercise flights today in various locations across the U.S. as they practice intercept and identification procedures. Exercise flights are planned for Florida, northern Minnesota, southwestern New Mexico and off the coast of California. Although they are scheduled for early morning, these exercise flights could be delayed due to weather concerns.
Areas between Big Cypress National Park, Port Labelle, Clewiston and Orlando, Florida; areas around Grand Rapids, Virginia and Duluth in northern Minnesota; isolated areas of the southwestern part of New Mexico, near the Arizona State line; and off the coast of Los Angeles, California, around San Nicolas Island.
Those in the vicinity of the locations listed above may hear and/or see NORAD-controlled fighter jets in close proximity to a military or military contracted aircraft, which will be taking on the role of tracks of interest.
In order to test responses, systems and equipment, NORAD continuously conducts exercises with a variety of scenarios, including airspace restriction violations, hijackings and responding to unknown aircraft. All NORAD exercises are carefully planned and closely controlled.
NORAD has conducted exercise flights of this nature throughout the U.S. since the start of Operation Noble Eagle, the command’s response to the terrorist attacks that occurred on Sept. 11, 2001.
NORAD is the bi-national Canadian and American command that provides maritime warning, aerospace warning and aerospace control for Canada and the United States. The command has three subordinate regional headquarters: the Alaskan NORAD Region at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska; the Canadian NORAD Region at Canadian Forces Base Winnipeg, Manitoba; and the Continental NORAD Region at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla.
Actually – Cheney ordered the Military to STAND DOWN!
from Raw Story:
Newly published audio this week reveals that Vice President Dick Cheney’s infamous Sept. 11, 2001 order to shoot down rogue civilian aircraft was ignored by military officials, who instead ordered pilots to only identify suspect aircraft.
That revelation is one of many in newly released audio recordings compiled by investigators for the 9/11 Commission, published this week by The Rutgers Law Review. Featuring voices from employees at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and American Airlines, the newly released multimedia provides a glimpse at the chaos that emerged as the attack progressed.
Most striking of all is the revelation that an order by Vice President Dick Cheney was ignored by the military, which saw his order to shoot down aircraft as outside the chain of command. Instead of acknowledging the order to shoot down civilian aircraft and carrying it out, NORAD ordered fighters to confirm aircraft tail numbers first and report back for further instructions.
Cheney’s order was given at “about 10:15” a.m., according to the former VP’s memoirs, but the 9/11 Commission Report shows United flight 93 going down at 10:06 a.m. Had the military followed Cheney’s order, civilian aircraft scrambling to get out of the sky could have been shot down, exponentially amplifying the day’s tragedy.
Far from sending fighters to chase after the hijacked aircraft, as Bush administration officials have repeatedly said they did, the new audio tapes paint a picture of bedlam and unpreparedness.
The situation was so chaotic, military officials received the exact location of one of the aircraft that hit the World Trade Center towers just nine minutes before impact. It even took a military official calling the FAA some 30 minutes after American Airlines Flight 77 went off course before the nation’s defense apparatus began scrambling. Moments later the jet is said to have slammed into the Pentagon.
Despite these latest disclosures, the vast majority of materials gathered during the investigation of 9/11 remains a secret, even over the wishes of the 9/11 commissioners. Among that information is a 30-page summary of the commission’s interview with President George W. Bush and Vice President Cheney; black box data; minutes from a secret, high-level “continuity of government” meeting; and information on America’s overseas intelligence-gathering on al Qaeda.
Withheld from the audio released by Rutgers was a high-level meeting held by top administration officials, where they discussed continuity of government measures to be implemented if the president were to be killed or a mass casualty event were to occur. In Cheney’s memoir, he claims to have ordered a staffer to hang up on that meeting when a technical glitch caused a degradation in audio quality. Instead of going directly there to participate in discussions about how to sustain the government, Cheney decided to watch television news.
9/11 Commission Chairman Thomas Kean has said most of the investigation’s materials are classified for no apparent reason, and urged that the National Archives release the 9/11 files to the public as soon as possible. He’s also suggested that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) tried to impede the investigation when it turned towards al Qaeda intelligence gathering methods.
As many as 92 tapes of terror war captives being tortured by CIA operatives were later destroyed. Officials suggested these recordings depicted torture sessions with terrorism suspects Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Nashiri. Along with the tapes, detailed records of the CIA’s so-called “torture flights,” showing the planes, destinations and even the passengers, were also destroyed.
Attorney General Eric Holder announced in June that after a lengthy investigation, a probe of the CIA’s interrogations during the Bush-era would not proceed.
This video is from ABC News, broadcast Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011.