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US Air Force Scrambles F-16 Jets Over A Donald Trump Rally; Fires Warning Shots – WATCH NOW

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The audience at a Trump campaign rally in Bullhead City, Arizona, were caught by surprise when a US Air Force F-16 fighter jet fired off flares to warn another aircraft to stay away from the restricted airspace temporarily set up for the President’s security.

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The fighter jet fired flares apparently to get the attention of another aircraft, who had been incommunicado with the air traffic control in the area. The unknown civilian plane later established radio communication with the fighter and was reportedly escorted out of the restricted airspace.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) later clarified in a tweet that it had sent an Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon after a civilian “aircraft that was not in communication with ATC and entered the Temporary Flight Restriction area surrounding Bullhead City, AZ without proper clearance.”

The agency said the violating aircraft was non-responsive to any communication after initial attempts but later responded to radio communications after the F-16 deployed signal flares. NORAD said the aircraft was cleared out of the restricted space without further incident.

The President, along with the crowd, were caught unaware at the fiery display above the rally and did not seem to know what was going on. On spotting the aircraft, Trump yelled at the crowd, “Oh, look at that, look, look, look, they gave the president a little display.”

The Federal Aviation Administration, along with NORAD and the Air Force are responsible for establishing temporary flight restriction areas, and these organizations jointly issue statements to warn civilian pilots about the restrictions, ahead of time, but sometimes there is a possibility of the message not getting across.

The flares are normally used by aircraft to counter the heat-seeking missiles targeting it, however, they can be sometimes used to get the attention of a nearby aircraft not communicating with air traffic control.

The Air Force fighters are responsible for countering any airspace violations, by escorting the unauthorized aircraft out of no-fly zones, or in extreme cases, shooting them down.

The US Air Force has a number of aircraft, such as F-16s, F-15 Eagles, and sometimes, F-22 Raptors, which are deployed for such missions. Even the E-3 AWACS aircraft have been known to help provide surveillance and additional command and control wherever the President is traveling.

The presence of airborne platforms for Presidential security on visits to other states has been significantly increased. The fighters may be airborne constantly, supported by tankers, around the clock to provide a combat air patrol (CAP) to enforce a temporary no-fly security zone around the President. 

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