Thursday, January 17, 2012

BENNINGTON - The Vermont National Guard says fighter jets from Massachusetts will likely be seen over southern Vermont beginning today.

The 104th Fighter Wing of the Massachusetts Air National Guard in Westfield, Mass. will be flying training missions in the next few weeks over southern Vermont and New Hampshire. The exercises are intercept missions that involve F-15 jets finding and escorting non-military aircraft to a regional airport. The exercises simulating real-world procedures and typically involve escorting Civil Air Patrol Cessna planes.

The training is scheduled for Jan. 17, 23, and 30 during daytime hours, according to the Vermont National Guard.

The practice missions "are carefully planned, closely controlled and include exercising airspace restriction violations, hijackings and responding to unknown aircraft," according to the Guard.

The Guard said the following communities in the area may experience increased aircraft activity during the exercises: Rutland, Wells, Granville, Bennington,West Dover, Manchester, Dorset and Pawlet.