The North American Aerospace Defense Command, NORAD, will patrol over the skies of the Super Bowl XLIX game on Sunday. Military fighter jets and helicopters will patrol the skies in order to ‘keep America safe’.
On Tuesday, ahead of the game, they will be conducting training exercises. Residents in Phoenix have been told that they may hear F-16 aircraft and helicopters practising “intercept and identification operations with a variety of scenarios involving possible hostile aircraft”.
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Tuesday’s exercise, code-named Exercise Falcon Virgo, is a joint operation of the Federal Aviation Administration, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Civil Air Patrol and NORAD. NORAD is a U.S.-Canadian organization formed to monitor planes, missiles and spacecraft and warn of potentially hostile aircraft.
“We’re practicing for what we’ll be doing during the Super Bowl,” said Mary McHale, a spokeswoman for NORAD. “If they’re low enough we don’t want the public to be alarmed.”
She said the exercise is designed to test real world scenarios involving possible hostile aircraft during the game.
“We’re just taking precautions,” McHale said. “No necessary threat right now.”