NORAD fighter jets will be zooming over southern Arizona Tuesday

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Don't be surprised if you see or hear fighter jets over southern Arizona Tuesday.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) is running exercise flights between the Cochise County Airport and Coolidge between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m.

The drill is focused on "intercept and identification procedures."

According to information out of Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado, people might see "low-flying NORAD-controlled fighter jets in close proximity to civilian aircraft, which will be taking on the role of an aircraft of interest."

NORAD has run exercise flights like the ones planned Tuesday throughout the U.S. and Canada since the start of Operation Noble Eagle, which is NORAD's response to 9/11.

"In order to test responses, systems and equipment, NORAD continuously conducts exercises with a variety of scenarios, including airspace restriction violations, hijackings and responding to unknown aircraft," explains a news release issued by Peterson AFB. "All NORAD exercises are carefully planned and closely controlled."

Established in 1958, NORAD is a joint U.S.-Canadian organization that "conducts aerospace warning, aerospace control and maritime warning in the defense of North America." The commander reports to both the president of the United States and the prime minister of Canada.

In one of its most important ongoing missions, NORAD also tracks Santa Claus on his around-the-world journey every Christmas Eve.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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