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Press Releases
Press Release | Oct. 28, 2015

Update 3: Detached Military Aerostat Lands


Oct 28, 2015  –   Detached Military Aerostat Lands

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – At approximately 4 p.m. EDT the Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor System (JLENS) Surveillance System aerostat landed in a rugged, wooded area in northeast Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania National Guard is working with local authorities to secure the area while technical recovery teams comprised of military and contracted personnel are enroute to the scene.

At approximately 12:20 p.m. EDT today, the JLENS Surveillance System aerostat detached from its mooring station at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland. The aerostat ascended from 6,600 feet to 16,000 feet prior to deflating. Two F-16 Fighter jets from Atlantic City Air National Guard Base monitored the JLENS Surveillance System aerostat as it drifted northward over Pennsylvania.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command will continue to work closely with our interagency partners as an investigation is conducted.
JLENS is part of a three year NORAD exercise. A JLENS system consists of two aerostats: a fire control radar system and a surveillance radar system. Each radar system employs a separate 74-meter (243 feet long) tethered aerostat, a mobile mooring station, radar and communications payloads, a processing station, and associated ground support equipment.

NORAD is the bi-national Canadian and American command that provides maritime warning, aerospace warning and aerospace control for Canada and the United States. The command has three subordinate regional headquarters: the Alaskan NORAD Region at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska; the Canadian NORAD Region at Canadian Forces Base Winnipeg, Manitoba; and the Continental NORAD Region at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida.

For more information about NORAD, refer to
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Directorate of Public Affairs, Headquarters, North American Aerospace Defense Command, 250 Vandenberg, Suite B016,
Peterson AFB, Colorado Springs, Colo. 80914-3808; Phone (719) 554-6889, DSN 692-6889; NORAD website: