NORAD Conducting Air Defense Exercises Multiple Places Around Country


We saw the U.S. military take down three objects in the U.S. and Canada over the last weekend. That followed the shootdown of a Chinese spy balloon over the Atlantic near the Carolinas the prior week. After three objects and one balloon throughout a little over a week, a Pentagon official said that he thought this was the first time that NORAD had “taken kinetic action against an airborne object” over the U.S.


With that NORAD and its actions are very much in the news. But that didn’t mean that White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre had any understanding of what it is that they do. Or the name of Canada, for that matter.

This week, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) gave notice on Sunday that there would be a “live-fly air defense exercise” over Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, February 14, between midnight and 2:30 a.m. EST.

On Monday, NORAD intercepted four Russian planes over the Alaska Air Defense Identification Zone, including TU-95 BEAR-H bombers and SU-35 fighter aircraft. They sent up two F-16s which diverted the Russian planes away. NORAD termed that routine and it’s not uncommon to have Russian flights test our defenses like that.


Then on Wednesday, NORAD made three separate announcements that they would be doing “live-fly air defense exercises.” The first was off the coast of Washington State/British Columbia that would involve American and Canadian NORAD aircraft.

There were more exercises north of Key West and west of Everglades National Park. They said NORAD fighter aircraft would operate over the area at low altitudes and might be visible to the general public.

They similarly said they might fly low off the coast of North Carolina.


In each of the statements, NORAD made sure to include that this was “in no way related to recent NORAD and U.S. Northern Command operations associated with airborne objects over North America during the last two weeks.”

Exercises are not uncommon, it’s part of what they do. It may also be that they want to show a strong front to China under the circumstances. But it does seem like that’s a lot of exercises over the last couple of days, one might almost think there’s something up, or maybe they’re not sure they’re just car lot balloons, despite what the White House is suggesting.


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