If you see fighter jets in the air Friday, don't panic -- it's a NORAD exercise. Chicago residents can expect to see a Civil Air Patrol aircraft, Air National Guard C-21, Air Force KC-135 tanker, Air Force F-16s and a Coast Guard HH-65 Dolphin helicopter.
Chicago is experiencing a different kind of sonic boom Friday morning in preparation for NATO.
North American Aerospace Defense Command -- NORAD – has taken over the skies Friday for safety preparations before the NATO Summit.
A series of training flights coordinating with the Federal Aviation Administration, U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Coast Guard, the NATO Summit Joint Operations Center, and the Continental U.S. NORAD Region’s Eastern Air Defense Sector make up the Amalgam Virgo, a NORAD air defense exercise.
“Our interagency partnerships are a key component to the air defense shield for events like this and the Amalgam Virgo exercise is an excellent opportunity for us to hone our air defense skills with all our interagency partners,” said Lt. Gen. Sid Clarke.
Chicago residents can expect to hear plenty of noise from the aircrafts beginning around 9 a.m. and ending around 11 a.m.
A Civil Air Patrol aircraft, Air National Guard C-21 aircraft, Air Force KC-135 tanker, Air Force F-16s, and a Coast Guard HH-65 Dolphin helicopter are part of the show for gawkers to watch.
Similar safety exercises and precautions like this have been routine since the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.