Updated May 9, 2013 - 1:01 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.