CONR fighters patrol Super Bowl XLIII
TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – While a large portion of the world tuned in Sunday for Super Bowl XLIII, Continental U.S. NORAD Region fighters were busy protecting the skies around Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
Air National Guard F-15 Eagles from the 159th Fighter Wing, New Orleans, La., and active duty Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 20th Fighter Wing, Shaw AFB, S.C., patrolled the skies overhead and enforced the Federal Aviation Administration's temporary flight restriction zone during the big game.
With only two TFR violations – both of which were errors in flight planning and adherence to the published notice to airmen -- the excitement appropriately remained on the field and in the stands.
Along with employing fighter aircraft, CONR worked hand-in-hand with the Federal Bureau of Investigations, Customs and Border Protection, the FAA, and local law enforcement agencies to provide the air security blanket during this year’s Super Bowl. This interagency partnership helped ensure the safety of the players, fans and residents of the greater Tampa area.
“The safety of our citizens requires a great deal of behind the scenes planning and execution by all mission partners,” said Maj. Gen. Hank Morrow, Continental U.S. NORAD Region commander. “We are proud to have been a part of the Super Bowl XLIII team.”
As the Joint Forces Air Component Commander, General Morrow is responsible for all air and space assets in the Continental United States, establishing operational control, assigning missions, and coordinating an expert staff of professionals from every branch of the U.S. Armed Forces.
The FAA imposed a one-mile TFR around the stadium from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and expanded to a 30-mile TFR from 4 p.m. to midnight. A TFR does not interfere with commercial passenger or cargo aircraft and applies primarily to “general aviation” aircraft.
"CONR is tasked with air defense for the Continental U.S. and this AOC is the focal point for defending the homeland from aerial attack," said Col. Scott Barberides, 601st Air & Space Operations Center’s Combat Operations Division chief. "It was exciting to be a part of this year’s Super Bowl, but it is also important to remember that this mission is what we do every hour of everyday. This AOC is an integral part of a team of dedicated professionals who defend the homeland from aerial attack.”
Air patrols are carefully planned and closely controlled to ensure public safety while demonstrating CONR's rapid response capability. CONR has conducted air patrols throughout the United States since the beginning of Operation Noble Eagle, the command's response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Further information on TFRs in place around areas within the United States can found at www.faa.gov.
For more information on CONR’s support to Super Bowl XLIII, contact 1st Lt. Andrew Scott, 601st AOC Public Affairs, at 850-282-0725, or via e-mail at email@example.com.