MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (WPVI) -- The Super Bowl is designated an NSSE - a National Special Security Event - which frees up a number of resources to help keep everyone at the game safe.
Action News was the only local station to get an up-close look at one of the ways authorities were doing just that by taking a ride on a Blackhawk helicopter with Customs and Border Protection.
On Wednesday, the mission was to practice the routes a four-man crew from the air and marine unit will run Super Bowl Sunday, as the biggest spectacle in sports unfolds on a field below.
"We want to keep the viewers out here focused on the game, and not be worried about any potential terrorist threat," said Michael Fuller.
Moments later we had a bird's eye view of the city - and the stadium - that will be center stage come Sunday.
"We're going to be providing air security, we're actually on duty all the way through now until the Super Bowl. After kick off, we're going to be providing three main functions," said Fuller.
The first function is to enforce the no-fly zone over the city by intercepting aircraft that may inadvertently or intentionally find their way in.
Second, this crew will serve as a quick response force, delivering manpower, and menacing muscle, where it's needed - fast.
"And then the third thing is, we're going to be an eye in the sky for ground law enforcement," said Fuller.
The view from here is spectacular: an unobstructed, and unrivaled, vantage point on a snowy Minnesota landscape. This crew knows it, but they are laser-focused not on where they are, but why they're here.
"It is a great honor for us to come here because usually we're chasing smugglers and bad people, but in this case, we get to protect people and help and have a good time," said Fuller.
The crew told us they are preparing for the worst, but expecting the best.
Send a breaking news alert to Action News
Report a correction or typo
Learn more about the 6abc family of apps
Exclusive: A bird's eye view of Super Bowl security in Minneapolis