Utica, NY (WIBX) - Utica residents may hear and see some fighter jets in close proximity today. However, there is no cause for alarm--The North American Aerospace Defense Command is conducting exercise flights to practice military flight procedures.

Officials with NORAD say they are conducting the exercises over Western New York and Central Michigan. They say the exercises are necessary to test responses to certain scenarios like airspace restriction violations, hijacking and responding to unknown aircrafts. Also, the fighter jets' systems and equipment are routinely tested through these exercises.

According to the report, NORAD has conducted these flight exercises since the implementation of Operation Noble Eagle, a response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Flight exercises are conducted throughout the U.S. and Canada. According to the release, NORAD is the bi-national Canadian and American command that provides maritime warning, aerospace warning and aerospace defense for Canada and the United States. The command has three subordinate regional headquarters: the Alaskan NORAD Region at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska; the Canadian NORAD Region at Canadian Forces Base Winnipeg, Manitoba; and the Continental NORAD Region at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida.