MIAMI (CBSMiami) – If you were in greater Miami Tuesday morning and saw F-15 fighter jets streaking across the sky, you probably wondered what the heck was going on.
No, it wasn’t an impromptu air show. Rather, it was a training exercise conducted by the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), you know, the same folks who track Santa’s flight every year.
In order to test responses, systems, and equipment, NORAD routinely conducts exercises using a variety of scenarios including airspace violations, hijackings and responding to unknown aircraft.
NORAD has been protecting North America’s skies for over 60 years by identifying and intercepting potential threats.
Operation NOBLE EAGLE is the name given to the military response following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and applies to all air sovereignty and air defense missions in North America.
NORAD is actually a bi-national command and provides defense for both the U.S. and Canada, their response to potential aerospace threats does not distinguish between the two nations and draws on forces from both countries.