NORAD plans military exercise for DC area on Wednesday

WASHINGTON — A North American Aerospace Defense Command defense exercise is scheduled for Wednesday in the D.C. area.

Operation Noble Eagle is expected to take place between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. During the exercise, NORAD said helicopter activity is likely to be visible. According to a NORAD statement, “two U.S. Coast Guard MH-65D Dolphin helicopters will be employed during the exercise. Some portions of the exercise could involve flights at approximately 2,500 feet above ground level.”

The objective is to test responses, systems and equipment.

NORAD said it “continuously conducts exercises with a variety of scenarios, including airspace restriction violations, hijackings and responding to unknown aircraft.”

ONE started as the military response to the terrorist attack of Sept. 11, 2001, to place a greater emphasis on the surveillance and control of airspace over Canada and the U.S.

NORAD, whose mission began 60 years ago, is tasked with defense of the U.S. homeland and is on alert around-the-clock. Since its inception, NORAD said their aircraft “have identified and intercepted potential air threats to North America in the execution of its aerospace warning and aerospace control missions.”

If weather impacts the exercise, it will be delayed 24 hours.