- The Washington Times - Monday, July 20, 2015

If you live in D.C. and hear rumbling in the sky early Wednesday morning, you may be mistaken and think it’s thunder.

Civil Air Patrol aircraft and a military helicopter will be flying over D.C. between midnight and 2 a.m. Tuesday night into Wednesday morning as part of an exercise designed to hone NORAD’s intercept operations.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command and its geographical component, the Continental United States NORAD Region (CONR), have been conducting these exercises in the U.S. and Canada since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks on U.S. soil.

This particular exercise, called Falcon Virgo 15-10, is part of a series of flights run in coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Capital Region (NCR) Coordination Center, the Joint Air Defense Operations Center (JADOC), Civil Air Patrol, U.S. Coast Guard and CONR’s Eastern Air Defense Sector, CONR officials said in a statement Sunday.

“Exercise Falcon Virgo is designed to hone NORAD’s intercept and identification operations as well as operationally test the NCR Visual Warning System and training personnel at the JADOC. Civil Air Patrol aircraft and a U.S. Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter will participate in the exercise,” CONR said.

The exercise may be canceled or postponed if bad weather occurs.

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