RealNews

Air Defense to Be Tested Tonight

Many Washington area residents may find their sleep interrupted by the roar of Air Force F-16 fighters tonight as the Pentagon conducts a 90-minute air patrol exercise to test federal procedures for identifying and confronting hostile aircraft, defense officials said yesterday. In the drill, which will start at 10:30 p.m., two F-16s will intercept two Cessna 172 civilian airplanes in a scenario designed to test pilots, antiaircraft missile crews and civilian and military commanders. A spokesman said the jets will take off from Andrews Air Force Base but declined to provide further details on the affected airspace. He said that the exercise was scheduled for the period when civilian air traffic is lowest and that flight paths were adjusted to reduce the noise level. Full Story

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