If, by some chance, you look up and see fighter jets in the skies over Northern Montgomery County, don’t be alarmed. The North American Aerospace Defense Command is once again conducting exercise flights today between North Baltimore and University Park Airport, Pa., as the fighter aircraft practice intercept and identification procedures. The exercise will occur between 10:00 am and noon on Wednesday, March 1. NORAD last conducted these exercises back on January 24.
NORAD said Maryland and Pennsylvania residents between may hear and/or see low-flying NORAD-controlled fighter jets in close proximity to civilian aircraft, which will be taking on the role of an aircraft of interest. While Montgomery County is just in the area where these flights may be seen, it remains possible that locals may catch a glimpse.
In order to test responses, systems and equipment, NORAD continuously conducts exercises with a variety of scenarios, including airspace restriction violations, hijackings and responding to unknown aircraft. All NORAD exercises are carefully planned and closely controlled.
Although they are scheduled to begin in the morning, the flights could be delayed for 24 hours or cancelled due to weather.
NORAD has conducted exercise flights of this nature throughout Canada and the U.S. since the start of Operation Noble Eagle, the command’s response to the terrorist attacks that occurred on Sept. 11, 2001.
Photo Credit: Master Sgt. Andrew Moseley - https://www.dvidshub.net/image/2091155, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=45169179