HOMESTEAD, FLA. (WSVN) - Security is a major concern among many as the Super Bowl is set to take place in a couple of days, and members of the National Guard showed 7News how they will keep our skies safe during the game.
With the massive amounts of fans traveling to South Florida comes a strong security presence as well.
7News cameras were able to get a first-hand look on board a Tennessee Air National Guard C-135 Stratotanker on Tuesday to see the North American Aerospace Defense Command’s air defense mission.
The aircraft allows other military aircraft, such as fighter jets, to refuel in the air. 7News cameras captured NORAD members practicing refueling the aircraft at an altitude of 21,000 feet.
The aircraft are refueled from a boom that extends out from the rear of the Stratotanker.
Sgt. Brianna Lindquist is the person in charge of refueling the jets.
“So you’re laying on your stomach, and you’re looking directly out a window at them,” she said. “Once they’re in position, I’m flying the boom basically with my right hand and my left hand will extend.”
Commercial and private aircraft will not be allowed near the stadium for safety reasons.
“What our job is to just ensure that if someone does inadvertently fly in there that they’re safely escorted out,” NORAD Maj. Andrew Scott said.
An additional 2,500 flights are expected for the Super Bowl, and an additional 1,300 planes will be in town for the event.
NORAD will make sure the plane’s pilots know where they are allowed to fly and when.
Lt. Col. Alex Edwards is a fighter pilot who said he will intercept a pilot who has ignored several warnings.
“He’s ignored a lot of warnings,” he said if a pilot sees him in the fighter. “He’s crossed a lot of red lines, too.”
Military members said if they’re doing their job right, football fans won’t even notice them.
“The whole object is for the people who are attending the Super Bowl to enjoy themselves, to not have to concern themselves with their safety while they’re attending these events,” said Department of Homeland Security Agent Todd Gayle. “We will be at a distance. We will be at an altitude, but we will maintain our capabilities. We will still main our situational awareness to ensure that no bad actors take advantage of that situation. Nobody would deny that this would be an opportune time to disrupt activities on the ground. We hope to prevent those types of acts by a show of force.”
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