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News | May 14, 2010

CONR supports successful Space Shuttle launch

By NORAD and USNORTHCOM Public Affairs

CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. – The Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command Region (CONR) and Air Forces Northern provided crucial airspace control and manning support to the successful launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis today.

CONR ensured airspace sovereignty by enforcing the Federal Aviation Administration’s temporary flight restriction area established around Kennedy Space Center. Using F-15E Strike Eagle aircraft from the 4th Fighter Wing, Seymour Johnson AFB N.C., CONR was able to identify and redirect five aircraft that inadvertently violated the restricted airspace.

CONR also deployed the Joint-Based Expeditionary Connectivity Center team to Cape Canaveral to provide an overarching air picture to the supported entities.

AFNORTH provided the headquarters manning for U.S. Northern Command’s Joint Task Force-Space Transportation System, responsible for the search and rescue of the astronauts and recovery of the orbiter if the need arises. AFNORTH also serves as the operational level focal point for situational understanding and crisis response to space shuttle mission contingencies.

“As members of CONR, we are very proud of our mission to protect the skies overhead the shuttle while AFNORTH personnel provide manning for potential search and rescue operations,” said Col. Scott Barberides, JTF-STS commander.

The task force provides the command and control of Department of Defense forces during crisis response from the Morrell Operations Center at Cape Canaveral AFS.