South Carolina Air National Guard conducts air defense exercise near Florence airport

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MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, South Carolina — Fighter jets with the South Carolina Air National Guard are flying air defense missions near the Florence Airport.

Senior Master Sgt. Ed Snyder says F-16 fighters with the 169th Fighter Wing from McEntire Joint National Guard Base might be seen Tuesday escorting a single-engine plane from the South Carolina Civil Air Patrol.

Snyder says the exercise is set for 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and says it has been coordinated with the Federal Aviation Administration.

The Guard spokesman says the pilots and crew members conduct such exercises to practice responding to potential airborne threats over the United States. The unit has been conducting such training exercises as part of the nation's North American Aerospace Defense Command missions since the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

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