Choppers to Descend on Las Vegas to Monitor Nuclear Threat Ahead of New Year’s Eve

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Feds to conduct flyovers amid concerns about potential ‘dirty bomb’ attack

Tax dollars will be put to work guarding some of America’s kitschiest landmarks this weekend as the federal government conducts helicopter flights over Las Vegas.

The flights are designed to monitor radiation in the city before upcoming New Year’s Eve festivities. A so-called “dirty bomb” containing nuclear material would result in higher than normal radiation levels. The Nuclear Emergency Support Team’s (NEST) surveillance flights are intended to observe any potential threat and allow for a security response.

The group falls within the operations of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) overseen by the US Department of Energy.

“The public may see NNSA’s twin-engine Bell 412 helicopter, which is equipped with radiation-sensing technology,” read a press release on the Department of Energy’s website.

“The helicopter will fly in a grid pattern over the areas at 150 feet (or higher) above the ground at a speed of approximately 80 mph. Flyovers will occur only during daylight hours and are estimated to take approximately two hours to complete per area.”

“These surveys are a normal part of security and emergency preparedness activities. NNSA is making the public aware of the upcoming flights so citizens who see the low-flying aircraft are not alarmed.”

The flights will take place Friday, December 29 in order to detect normal background radiation in the city, and then again on New Year’s Eve to ensure readings are in line with expected levels.

The Nuclear Emergency Support Team was established in 1975 as major US cities faced threats of nuclear terrorism. Most of the threats investigated by the NEST are found to be non-credible, but the federal government was spurred into action by the theft of nuclear material from US labs.

The little-known government program operates in the context of major events in American cities, such as the Super Bowl.

The US federal government instituted a number of educational and awareness programs throughout the Cold War, ostensibly in order to inform the American public. Among the most infamous was the 1952 educational film Duck and Cover, which was shown to schoolchildren in classrooms throughout the country.

The animated video purports to instruct people what to do in order to have a greater chance of surviving a nuclear attack. The film is often considered to actually be a piece of propaganda meant to stoke Cold War paranoia after the Soviet Union developed a nuclear bomb in 1949.

A few years later US Congress would pass the National Defense Education Act after the Soviet Union kicked off the Space Race with the launch of the first manmade satellite, dubbed “Sputnik.”

Alex Jones asks where George Strait has been in the fight to save the United States.

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