PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – This morning, recovery operations commenced for the Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor System (JLENS) fire control radar system aerostat.
Wednesday, at approximately noon EDT, the aerostat detached from its mooring station at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland. Around 4 p.m. EDT the aerostat grounded itself in a rugged, wooded area in northeast Pennsylvania. The aerostat landed in two separate but nearby sections; the tail and main body are separated by a quarter-mile. JLENS personnel in conjuction with Pennsylvania Army National Guard and Pennsylvania State Police secured the site, while a technical recovery team of military and civilian experts from Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, deployed to the site.
After the fire control radar system aerostat detatched, the surveillance aerostat was immediately lowered and secured as a precaution.
An emergency operations center has been established in Pennsylvania and the crash sites are being assessed. Recovery efforts are underway.
The Army has initiated an investigation to determine the cause of the incident. There is no indication that it may have been cyber or terrorist-related. The investigation will look at every aspect of how this incident occurred.
For questions regarding the recovery process contact the Continental U.S. NORAD Region (CONR) at 850-283-8080. For general questions about the incident contact North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command Public Affairs.
JLENS is a supporting program of the Army and Joint Integrated Air and Missile Defense, providing persistent, over-the-horizon radar surveillance and fire control quality data on Army and Joint Networks. It enables protection from a wide variety of threats to include manned and unmanned aircraft, cruise missiles, and surface moving targets like swarming boats and tanks.
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, Fla.
For more information about NORAD, refer to http://www.norad.mil.
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