NORAD begins annual air defense drill in DC region

Fighter jets and other military aircraft will overfly the D.C. region during the early morning hours through Thursday for an air defense drill.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command air defense exercise Falcon Virgo was scheduled to begin Tuesday in the D.C. area and run from midnight to 5:30 a.m. until Thursday.

The recurring exercise — part of a joint U.S.-Canadian operation to test air defense readiness in major North American cities after the Sept. 11 attacks — will include several U.S. Air Force F-16 fighter aircraft, an Army C-12 turboprop, a Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter and a Civil Air Patrol Cessna 182T Skylane.

Aircraft could fly as low as 2,500 feet and be visible from the ground. Weather could cause flight plans to be postponed for the following day.

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