NORAD CONDUCTS TERROR DRILL
Military Sharpens Their Skills For A Day They Hope Never Comes
KRDO TV | August 11, 2005
by Scott Harrison, Jemal Duran
F-16's take to the skies over southern colorado in hopes of preparing for the unspeakable.
Small, private planes could now be the weapons of choice by terrorists.
Today, the military practiced dealing with such an attack over the skies of southern colorado.
The military has never been forced to shoot down a domestic aircraft, but over colorado springs on thursday, f-16's practicedpulling the trigger.
Norad scrambled them from buckley air force base near denver, in response to a suspicious plane.
In this case, it's flown by the civil air patrol as part of the exercise.
Colonel john cromwell of western air defense, the scenario is not too unciommon in real life, "It may be just an escort and assist someone who's having an emergency, or it may be someone who's not responding appropriately."
In thursday’s scenario, the plane has ignored radio traffic, and has no flight plan, creating a challenge for the military.
Colonel Cromwell: "Private airplanes are normally flying a lot slower. So one of the challenges is being able to get alongside of them long enough to give them a visual signal, or to get their attention."
It's yet another example of a possible terrorist attack, and this day and age, no threat can be ignored.
The purpose of this exercise is for involved agencies to improve their communication and coordination during a fast developing and stressful situation like a terrorist attack
Norad conducts similar exercises every month or so. They have responded to more than two thousand potential threats over the u.s. and canada since 9-11.