Tangles with Cessnas

Massachusetts Air National Guard alert F-15Cs practiced intercepting slow moving, low-altitude threats simulated by light aircraft flown by the Civil Air Patrol, over New Hampshire on Oct. 8, according to a release. The 104th Fighter Wing pilots from Barnes ANGB, Mass., conducted the “Fertile Keynote” exercise to practice intercept tactics and procedures required to fulfill the unit’s NORAD Aerospace Control Alert mission. Fertile Keynotes complements NORAD’s larger-scale Falcon Virgo exercises designed to test the full-up air defense system’s ability to defend key US cities against a variety of airborne threats. F-16s of the Wisconsin ANG’s 115th Wing at Truax Field near Madison flew a Fertile Keynote with CAP Cessnas earlier this week, according to a unit social media post. Massachusetts’ 104th FW is one of several sites defending restricted airspace over the northeastern US. Both units are part of NORAD’s Eastern Air Defense Sector, responsible for defending the eastern half of the Continental United States. (For more, read Capital Defenders from the December 2012 issue of Air Force Magazine.)