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A pair of American military jets were spotted in the skies over Hillsdale during a training exercise yesterday evening.

The duo were F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 180th Fighter Wing, a unit of the Ohio Air National Guard based at the Toledo Air National Guard Base in Toledo, Ohio.

They were conducting a training exercise known as a Fertile Keynote exercise.The purpose of these events is to exercise coordination between the Eastern Air Defense Sector, Federal Aviation Administration and 180th Fighter Wing. These types of exercises are conducted on a routine basis as part of North American Aerospace Defense Command’s Operation Noble Eagle, which was initiated after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

180th Fighter Wing also conducts intercept training exercises with a Civil Air Patrol aircraft as the “bogey” who acts as a simulated threat or target. The mission is to locate them and escort them to the nearest airport. Several times the “bogey” was forced to land at Hillsdale Municipal Airport. Locations for these exercises is often determined by which Civil Air Patrol unit volunteers to support the exercise.