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Airmen support NORAD exercise

5/19/2007 - PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. (AFPN) -- Airmen from the 201st Airlift Squadron are participating May 21 to 22 in an exercise testing the North American Aerospace Defense Command's intercept and identification capabilities.

NORAD and its geographical component, the Continental United States NORAD Region, will conduct Exercise Falcon Virgo 07-08 beginning the evening of May 21 through early May 22 in the National Capital Region of Washington, D.C.

This 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, CONUS NORAD Region, Northeastern Air Defense Sector, Civil Air Patrol, the US Coast Guard Rotary Wing Air Intercept, and the 201st ALS.

Civil Air Patrol aircraft, Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons, C-38s and Coast Guard HH-65 helicopters will participate in the exercise.

These exercises are carefully planned and closely controlled to ensure NORAD's rapid response capability, NORAD officials said.

NORAD has conducted exercise flights of this nature throughout the U.S. and Canada since the start of Operation Noble Eagle, the command's response to the terrorist attacks Sept. 11, 2001.

Since 9/11, NORAD fighters have responded to more than 2,100 possible air threats in the United States, Canada and Alaska, and have flown more than 42,000 sorties with the support of Airborne Warning and Control System and air-to-air-refueling aircraft. 

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