Super Bowl 50 Flight Security To Include F-15 Fighter Jets, Helicopters

F-15 fighter jets on standby, helicopters buzzing over the streets, K-9 units treading the sidewalk and rooftops covered with sharpshooters.

While this may sound like the middle of a war zone, in fact this is all taking place in San Jose, California, as the city prepares to host the biggest event in American sport.

Super Bowl 50 arrives at the Levi’s Stadium in just 11 days, and local, regional and federal security officials are taking no chances when it comes to keeping people safe.

An estimated 70,000 people are expected to make their way to the Levi’s Stadium for the game, while thousands more will gather in bars around the city.

According to CBS San Francisco, strict no-fly zones will be in place around the stadium during the game, enforced by the U.S. Air Force and the California Air National Guard.

Over the course of the next week, F-15 pilots with the National Guard will be flying training missions designed at intercepting aircraft that violate the no-go area.

On game day, those pilots will be ready to scramble should any aircraft stray within ten nautical miles of the Levi’s Stadium.

Meanwhile, police K-9 units have been taking part in training to familiarize the dogs to the sound of helicopters, which will also be on standby during the event.

According to U.S. Park Police Officer Neil Wu, should there be an emergency on the streets during the game, helicopters may be used to ferry teams to and from the stadium.

This is potentially a problem for bomb-sniffing dogs that will be deployed at transport hubs and on the streets of San Jose.

Wu said: ‘One of the first steps in providing security for the Super Bowl is getting the dogs familiarized with the helicopters noise vibrations and seeing how they behave around it.
‘It’s better to find out how the dogs handle it now than later.’

Security on the streets will also be high, as authorities take lessons from the Paris attacks in December last year, in which the Stade de France was targeted by three suicide bombers.

While officials will not disclose specific details on what to expect on game-day, the San Jose Mercury reports that dogs, metal detectors, and high-tech cameras will all play a part.

Around the stadium itself, concentric circles of security will be put in place with walk-through metal detectors and officers searching bags.

Jeff Miller, the NFL’s head of security, told the publication that the top priority was to ‘keep weapons and explosives far away from our stadium.’

Bomb dogs will also be placed at train and bus stations around the city, while security will be beefed up at nearby airports as well.

Santa Clara Mayor Jamie Matthews added that the city is also receiving a series of ‘cameras and sensors’ from Washington to help monitor public transportation.

Police will also be deployed to hotels hosting players dignitaries and celebrities attending the game.

Despite the heavy security, Special Agent in Charge David Johnson said that ideally people will be barely aware of what is going on around them.

He added: ‘Our collective goal is to provide as safe an environment as we possibly can and also make that security as minimally intrusive as we can. We want people to enjoy the events.’

Peyton Manning will be looking for his second Super Bowl trophy in five appearances during football’s top event when he steps on to the turf at Levi’s Stadium next Sunday.

Manning saw the Denver Broncos defeat long-time rival Tom Brady and the New England Patriots 20-18 on Saturday to reach the final game.

Meanwhile the Carolina Panthers will be looking to cap off a near-perfect campaign which saw them go 15-1 in regular season games.

They demolished the Arizona Cardinals on Saturday, putting in an AFC Championship high score of 49-15 to earn their place in the final.

1 reply
  1. Joe Levin
    Joe Levin says:

    Security is at record levels for the upcoming Super Bowl in southern California this Sunday, and the San Jose Police Dept. will investigate up to 20 threats a day in the coming week.

    News reports and police announcements are replete with terms such as threats, SWAT team, bomb technicians, explosives – but the one term that is not being mentioned, yet looms darkly and constantly in the background, is: “Muslim terrorism.”

    Safety measures for the 50th annual Super Bowl will include 90 canine teams of bomb-sniffing dogs that have also been taught the sounds and vibrations of three different military helicopters that might need to be used in an evacuation. In addition, 80 FBI bomb technicians will be on hand with a mobile command vehicle operating remote-controlled robots that can analyze threats.

    The threat of terrorism has been raised in civilian areas throughout the world following several extremist Muslim terrorist attacks this past November in Paris. At least nine terrorists from Belgium and France descended upon several targets in the city, slaughtering 130 people in restaurants, cafes, a concert hall and a stadium. The attack on the Stade de France, a French sports arena, was foiled by security guards who did not allow the terrorists to enter.

    The security detail for the Super Bowl has been carefully monitoring the potential threat of a similar attack. “Particularly with the rise in internet use by terrorist groups to inspire and recruit,” the FBI said in a recent report, “we are concerned about the ‘self-radicalized’ actor(s) who could strike with little or no notice.”

    In April 2013, two Muslim terrorists placed bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three and injuring more than 260.

    Depending on the threat that is received, security officials will decide whether to send in a SWAT team or bomb sniffing K-9’s, or one of the many security apparatuses in place. In addition to the canine units and the FBI teams, Bay Area bomb squads will be on stand-by, and there will be no-fly zones over the stadium. An F-15 will actually be on stand-by to escort a plane out if necessary.

    Every event leading up to the big game over the coming week will be monitored. Sweeps for explosives will be made before each event. An Elite Merge Team from the San Jose Police Department has trained for a month with rifles and a Bearcat Rescue vehicle.

    Special operations police officers have undergone intensive training in preparation for the big game. One scenario for which they have drilled for is “active shooter situations.”

    Fans privileged to hold tickets – the cheapest is currently valued at $2,750 – will be allowed to enter the stadium only after they pass through airport-style metal detectors. They will not be permitted to bring in alcohol, coolers, pets, drones, bikes, skateboards, hoverboards, or bags larger than 18 by 18 inches.

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