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Fighter Jets Soar Over Chicago as Part of 'Air Defense Shield' for NATO Summit


And Defense spokesman refuses to comment on possible drone sighting...

Whether residents were mentally ready or not, a training exercise involving Air Force KC-135 tankers, Air Force F-16s, and a Coast Guard HH-65 Dolphin helicopters took place this morning in Chicago as part of the military's preparation for the NATO Summit that begins on Sunday.

(Related: Chicago beginning to look more like Fort Knox leading up to NATO Summit)

According to the local CBS affiliate, the U.S. North American Aerospace Defense (NORAD) Command Region training began at 9 a.m. Central time and was expected to take about two hours. Here's more on how the aircraft will be used to help protect the airspace around the city that will be hosting world leaders and dignitaries from May 20-22:

“Providing the air defense for special security events like this year’s NATO Summit is a part of our day-to-day mission,” said Lt. Gen. Sid Clarke, Continental U.S. NORAD Region commander said in a statement. “Our interagency partnerships are a key component to the air defense shield for events like this.”

During the NATO Summit, Air Force fighter jets will be on alert to enforce the Federal Aviation Administration’s Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) zone during the summit. Military jets have been authorized to shoot down any aircraft that violates secure airspace over Chicago.

(Related: Planes be warned: Aircraft violating no-fly zone for Chicago NATO Summit could be shot down)

Here's CBS' report on the training from earlier this morning:


CBS also reports that the Pentagon has made a comment on the recent unconfirmed drone sighting in a suburb 40 miles from the city. It notes Defense Department spokesman George Little didn't comment on the event specifically but said the military will be providing support to secure the summit.

(Related: Possible drone spotted in Chicago suburbs in preparation for NATO Summit -- see the video)

Here's the drone video, which some have questioned the validity of, if you missed it:

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