It's a bird, it's a plane, it's a plane



Colorado Springs residents will see NORAD in action late this morning. Fighter aircraft assigned to the North American Aerospace Defense Command will practice their "intercept and identification procedures," according to a news release. The drill is designed to test NORAD’s rapid response capability.

The news release says NORAD, based at Peterson Air Force Base, has conducted exercise flights of this nature throughout the U.S. and Canada since the start of Operation Noble Eagle, the command’s response to the terrorist attacks that occurred on Sept. 11, 2001. Each exercise flight uses a scenario to test NORAD’s response, systems and equipment.

Scenarios could include counter-drug operations, aircraft in distress, aircraft defecting, hijacking, appearance of unknown aircraft, dangerous military activity, temporary flight restriction violation or airborne terrorist.

Since Sept. 11, 2001, NORAD fighters have responded to more than 3,300 possible air threats in Canada and the United States.

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