Operation NOBLE EAGLE mission won’t cease

8/31/2012 - TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – As Isaac battered the Gulf Coast, the Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command Region and the 601st Air and Space Operations center never missed a beat. Charged with the aerospace defense of the continental United States, Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, CONR and the AOC continue to maintain the homeland defense mission.

Earlier this week, CONR and the 601st AOC deployed 46 members to an alternate duty location as a part of an Air Defense Emergency Relocation Plan.

“The Emergency Relocation Plan was executed so that our no-fail air defense mission did not miss a beat, not even for a moment,” said Col. Randy Spear, 601st AOC commander. “We are charged with our Operation Noble Eagle mission, and when Isaac looked like it might head our way, we sent a team to an alternate location. This was precautionary, just in case we could no longer operate out of Tyndall.”

According to Colonel Spear, the Emergency Relocation Plan for the AOC is essentially a small contingency of air defense experts who deploy to an alternate location and prepare to take over normal AOC functions should the primary facility close for some reason. The purpose of the plan is to ensure that there is never a break in air defense operations for the continental United States, Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

Operation Noble Eagle was named for the military response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The missions have been ongoing since the attacks, serving to provide surveillance and control of North American airspace. Operation Noble Eagle remains a prime mission focus for the men and women of NORAD.

“It is imperative that our air defense operations continue around the clock no matter what,” said Brig. Gen. Christopher Coates, CONR deputy commander. “In order to ensure this, we deployed 14 people on Sunday and an additional 32 on Monday. If we needed to switch operation locations, that transition would have been seamless.”

As the Continental United States geographical component of the bi-national command NORAD, CONR provides airspace surveillance and control and directs air sovereignty activities for the continental U.S. region. CONR and its assigned Air Force and Army assets throughout the country ensure air safety and security against potential air threats.

The 601st AOC is responsible for detecting, deterring, defending and if necessary, defeating any aviation threat to the citizens of the United States and to U.S. critical infrastructure. The AOC is primarily manned by the Florida Air National Guard’s 101st Air and Space Operations Group.

For additional information visit facebook.com/AmericasAOC or twitter.com/1stAF.

Article source: http://www.1af.acc.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123316355

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