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News | Feb. 8, 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 Endeavour Monday morning.

CONR ensured airspace sovereignty by enforcing the Federal Aviation Administration's temporary flight restriction area established around Kennedy Space Center using F-15 Eagle fighters from the 1st Fighter Wing, Langley Air Force Base, Va.

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.

CONR also deployed the Joint-Based Expeditionary Connectivity Center team to Cape Canaveral to provide an overarching air picture to the supported entities. The JBECC is a humvee-based, highly mobile, rapid response communications node for integrated air defense and is able to incorporate real-time data into NORAD's command and control systems.

AFNORTH provided the headquarters manning for U.S. Northern Command's Joint Task Force–Space Transportation System – JTF-STS – which is 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.

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.

There were no reported violations of the TFR during the launch.