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See how the Air National Guard protects presidential airspace

What happens when a rogue aircraft violates presidential airspace? Jeff Rossen was given rare access to present a dramatic demonstration.
/ Source: TODAY

From his Mar-a-Lago resort to his golf course in New Jersey to his home in New York City, President Trump has spent 19 weekends away from the White House since his inauguration. And each time there's a massive military effort to keep him safe from threats... including from above.

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What really happens if a rogue aircraft flies into presidential airspace and ignores warnings to leave? TODAY national investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen was given rare access to demonstrate how the Air National Guard protects the skies.

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From inside a Cessna playing the part of an unidentified aircraft entering a presidential no-fly zone, Rossen saw F-16s reach his location in minutes. Two swooped in on either side and demanded the pilot identify himself.

When Rossen's pilot, for purposes of the demonstration, refused to respond, one jet fighter executed a "head butt," crossing just feet in front of Rossen's plane.

If a rogue plane in such a scenario still did not respond, Rossen asked U.S. Air Force Col. Bradford Everman, operations group commander for the New Jersey Air National Guard’s 177th Fighter Wing, "will you shoot them down?"

"If required, we will execute the rules of engagement per commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command, and yes, we would do that," Everman told Rossen.

To suggest a topic for an upcoming investigation, visit the Rossen Reports Facebook page.