The North American Aerospace Defense Command and NORAD will fly "Civil Air Patrol aircraft, Air Force F-16s, an Air Force C-38, and a U.S. Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter" over the nation's capitol late tonight.
"The North American Aerospace Defense Command and its geographical component, the Continental United States NORAD Region (CONR), will conduct exercise Falcon Virgo 15-02 Monday night into Tuesday morning, in the National Capital Region, Washington, D.C," CONR said in a press release.
"Flights are scheduled to take place between midnight and 2 a.m. (EST)."
The agency said the operation is a training exercise "comprised of a series of training flights held in coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Capital Region (NCR) Coordination Center, the Joint Air Defense Operations Center (JADOC), Civil Air Patrol, U.S. Coast Guard and CONR’s Eastern Air Defense Sector." They said it is "designed to hone NORAD’s intercept and identification operations as well as operationally test the NCR Visual Warning System and training personnel at the JADOC."
They said the operation is part of its "response to the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001" and ensures "CONR’s rapid response capability."
"Since September 11, 2001, CONR fighters have responded to more than 5,000 possible air threats in the United States and have flown more than 62,500 sorties with the support of Airborne Warning and Control System and air-to-air-refueling aircraft."
NORAD conducted a series of training flights over D.C. earlier this month as well.