NORAD to fly exercise missions over Minnesota

WASHINGTON — If you see military jets flying alongside passenger planes in the skies today, don’t panic, it’s just a drill.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) will be conducting exercise flights over Minnesota today. The missions will run along two flightpaths: The first from Bismarck, N.D., to the Twin Cities, and the second from Nebraska to Sioux Falls, S.D. to south-central Minnesota.

So you know what to look for and when (from NORAD):

The flights will take place in the late-morning, and people may hear and see NORAD fighter aircraft in close proximity with general aviation aircraft as they practice their intercept and identification procedures.

The exercise has been carefully planned and will be closely controlled to ensure NORAD’s rapid response capability.

And if for some reason you’re wondering why NORAD would go to the trouble of announcing test flights, well, this is why.

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