Super Bowl preparations include air defense exercise

By on Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Fighter jets from the Continental United States North American Aerospace Defense Command Region, also known as CONR, along with the command’s interagency partners, are preparing to protect the sky around MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, the site of Super Bowl XLVII Feb. 2.

Air defense exercise flights in the area of the stadium are expected to begin around 4:30 a.m. EST Jan. 29, and to continue for about an hour, officials said.

Exercise Amalgam Virgo 14-01, a NORAD air-defense exercise, will be conducted in the greater East Rutherford area, so interagency partners can practice procedures for responding to airspace violations. The exercise is a series of training flights in coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration, the FBI, Customs and Border Protection, Civil Air Patrol, the 601st Air and Space Operations Center, and the CONR’s Eastern Air Defense Sector.

“There are a lot of interagency partners involved in the air defense of this year’s Super Bowl,” said Lt. Gen. William H. Etter, CONR commander. “With multiple agencies involved, coordination between all air-defense partners is crucial. This exercise allows all of the interagency partners to come together before the game to hone their air defense skills and ensure communications are working properly.”

These exercises are carefully planned and closely controlled to ensure CONR’s rapid response capability, officials said. CONR has conducted exercise flights of this nature throughout the U.S. since the start of Operation Noble Eagle, the command’s ongoing response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, they noted.

“On Super Bowl Sunday and every other day, the men and women of the CONR are on watch, making sure our skies are safe,” Etter said.

Since 9/11, CONR fighters have responded to more than 5,000 possible air threats in the U.S. 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, officials said.

(Information courtesy of the Continental United States North American Aerospace Defense Command Region)

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