Air defenders bolster Super Sunday security
WESTERN AIR DEFENSE SECTOR, McCHORD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. – When the New York Giants and New England Patriots take to the field on Super Sunday, they’ll be backed by some of the best defenders in the country.
F-16 fighter jets from the 162nd Fighter Wing, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., will be on duty for North American Aerospace Defense Command and its agencies –1st Air Force/Continental NORAD Region at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., and the Western Air Defense Sector at McChord Air Force Base, Wash. Their mission: work with local responders to keep the airspace over University of Phoenix Stadium and Super Bowl XLII safe.
Command and control of the aircraft will be WADS responsibility. The Washington Air National Guard unit employs a team of operators around the clock for early warning of any unknown or unidentified aerial threats. Their area of responsibility stretches west from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean, which includes the extra measures taken for special security events such as the Super Bowl.
Fighter support is nothing new for special security events. CONR’s air defenders flew during Super Bowl XLI in Miami and have been part of national events including funerals for former Presidents Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford, Space Shuttle launches, 9-11 observerances in New York, and many others. Upcoming supported events include Democrat and Republican National Conventions, the Indianapolis 500, and a joint U.S., Canadian effort in defending British Columbia for the 2010 Olympics.
NORAD has conducted air patrols throughout the U.S. and Canada since the start of Operation Noble Eagle – the command’s response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Since 9/11, NORAD agencies have responded to more than 2,100 possible air threats and controlled more than 48,000 air patrol sorties.
NORAD is a bi-national Canadian and American command that is responsible for the air defense of North America. NORAD jet fighters on alert throughout North America are supported by air-to-air refueling tankers, airborne and ground-based radar, surveillance systems and satellites.