Air Defense Exercise Readies Fighters for Super Bowl Mission

WASHINGTON, Jan. 31, 2011 — Mil­i­tary fight­er jets will be busy this week prepar­ing to pro­tect the skies around Cow­boys Sta­di­um in Arling­ton, Texas, dur­ing Super Bowl XLV on Feb. 6.
Amal­gam Vir­go 11–05A, a North Amer­i­can Aero­space Defense Com­mand air defense exer­cise, will allow inter­a­gency part­ners the chance to prac­tice pro­ce­dures in response to air­space vio­la­tions, offi­cials said.

The Amal­gam Vir­go exer­cise com­pris­es a series of train­ing flights held in coor­di­na­tion with the Fed­er­al Avi­a­tion Admin­is­tra­tion, Cus­toms and Bor­der Pro­tec­tion, Civ­il Air Patrol, and the Con­ti­nen­tal Unit­ed States NORAD Region’s West­ern Air Defense Sec­tor, offi­cials said.

Res­i­dents in the area can expect flights to begin around 9 p.m. Feb. 2 and to con­tin­ue for about an hour and a half.

“Inter­a­gency coor­di­na­tion is a key aspect of our dai­ly air defense mea­sures,” said Air Force Maj. Gen. Gar­ry C. Dean, com­man­der of the Con­ti­nen­tal Unit­ed States NORAD Region. “This Amal­gam Vir­go exer­cise is an excel­lent oppor­tu­ni­ty for all of our inter­a­gency air defend­ers to hone our air defense skills in prepa­ra­tion for Super Bowl Sun­day.”

These exer­cis­es are care­ful­ly planned and close­ly con­trolled to ensure rapid response capa­bil­i­ty, offi­cials said, not­ing that flights of this nature have tak­en place through­out the Unit­ed States since the start of Oper­a­tion Noble Eagle, the command’s response to the ter­ror­ist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Since then, offi­cials said, the Con­ti­nen­tal Unit­ed States NORAD Region’s fight­ers have respond­ed to more than 3,400 pos­si­ble air threats and have flown more than 58,200 sor­ties with the sup­port of Air­borne Warn­ing and Con­trol Sys­tem and air-to-air-refu­el­ing air­craft.

From a Con­ti­nen­tal Unit­ed States North Amer­i­can Aero­space Defense Com­mand Region News Release

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