F-16s to intercept mock attackers over Valley Thursday - East Valley Tribune: Arizona

F-16s to intercept mock attackers over Valley Thursday

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Posted: Thursday, May 9, 2013 7:24 am | Updated: 5:41 pm, Fri May 10, 2013.

Arizona Air National Guard F-16 fighters will be flying over downtown Phoenix Thursday as they practice intercepting hostile aircraft intent on a terrorist attack.

The F-16s from the Tucson-based 162nd Fighter Wing plan to run a series of interceptions from different approaches between 11:30 and 1 p.m.

Capt. Jason Gutierrez of the Air Guard says the fighters are from squadron's alert detachment, which provides a rapid reaction force over the region in case of an attack.

The Western Air Defense Sector exercises also involve a Lear Jet 35A business jet and Civil Air Patrol planes.

Similar exercises have been conducted since the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.

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