SC Air National Guard F-16s flying in exercise

      MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, S.C. (AP/WCIV) - The South Carolina Air National Guard is flying an air defense exercise around Florence.

      Senior Master Sgt. Ed Snyder says Tuesday's exercise includes F-16 fighter jets from McEntire Joint National Guard Base.

      People in the area may see the jets escorting a single-engine aircraft. The crews are practicing an intercept and escort mission. Snyder says the midday exercise is a routine practice and there is no reason for alarm.

      Snyder says the exercise helps the Air National Guard pilots and crews to keep alert and respond to airborne threats over the United States.

      Officials at MCAS Beaufort said pilots there would be running simulations this week as they prepare for deployment, advising residents that they may hear loud noises and see low-flying jets near the Air Station.