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Updated May 9, 2013 - 1:00 pm

F-16s intercept mock attackers over Phoenix

PHOENIX — Arizona Air National Guard F-16 fighters flew over
downtown Phoenix Thursday to practice intercepting hostile aircraft intent
on a terrorist attack.

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

Capt. Jason Gutierrez of the Air Guard said the fighters were 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 involved 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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