Flight exercises pair fighters with civilian aircraft

jholleman@thestate.comSeptember 25, 2012 

If you look up in the sky today and see what appear to be military jets escorting a commercial plane, don't be alarmed.

The SC Air National Guard’s 169th Fighter Wing and the Eastern Air Defense Sector are conducting exercises in the skies over South Carolina between 10 a.m. and noon.

To test the ability to respond rapidly and appropriately to airborne threats and emergencies, two F-16 fighter jets from McEntire Joint National Guard Base will be flying close to a C-21 Air Force passenger jet and a small Civil Air Patrol Cessna 182 airplane.

Most of the exercise, part of the ongoing response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, will not be visible from the ground, but the aircraft might be visible at times to people in the area between Columbia and Augusta.

Joey Holleman

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