U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command Region fighter jets, along with military and law enforcement partners are preparing to protect the skies over the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans throughout Super Bowl Sunday, according to a Pentagon statement on Monday.
Exercise Falcon Virgo 13-Super Bowl, a NORAD air defense exercise, will beheld in the greater New Orleans area on Tuesday in order 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, the FBI, Department of Homeland Security's Customs and Border Protection, the Civil Air Patrol, the 601st Air and Space Operations Center, and U.S. NORAD Region’s 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.
Flights are scheduled to begin at about 7 a.m. CST on Tuesday and continue for about an hour, Defense officials said.
If inclement weather occurs, the exercise will take place the following morning, and if bad weather continues, officials will then make a decision to postpone or cancel the exercise.
These exercises are carefully planned and closely controlled to ensure the Continental U.S. NORAD Region’s rapid response capability, officials said, noting that the Continental U.S. NORAD 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.
Since 9/11, Continental U.S. NORAD Region fighters 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, according to the Pentagon.