CONR fighters patrolling Central Florida

OVER VIRGINIA -- An F-15 Eagle is joined in formation by  F-16 Fighting Falcons during a training sortie here April 19. The F-15 is assigned to the 71st Fighter Squadron at Langley Air Force Base, Va., and the F-16s are assigned to the Virginia Air National Guard's 192nd Fighter Wing in Richmond.   (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Ben Bloker)

OVER VIRGINIA -- An F-15 Eagle is joined in formation by F-16 Fighting Falcons during a training sortie here April 19. The F-15 is assigned to the 71st Fighter Squadron at Langley Air Force Base, Va., and the F-16s are assigned to the Virginia Air National Guard's 192nd Fighter Wing in Richmond. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Ben Bloker)

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- As part of its continuing Operation NOBLE EAGLE mission, the U.S. Continental NORAD Region (CONR) has increased air patrols in central Florida.

F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 388th Fighter Wing at Hill AFB, Utah, and F-15 Eagles from the 33rd Fighter Wing at Eglin AFB, Fla., will patrol the greater Cape Canaveral and Orlando areas through the launch of Space Shuttle mission STS-118.

As part of that presence, 388 FW F-16s will fly Air Defense Deterrence Missions, or ADDMs flights, on Saturday, August 4, making low passes over Disney World, Sea World Orlando, Universal Studios Orlando, Daytona Beach International, New Smyrna Beach Municipal, the NASA Shuttle Landing Facility at Kennedy Space Center, and Melbourne International.

"In our continuing mission supporting NASA and protecting America's great institutions we have increased our presence in central Florida during the STS-118 launch window," said Colonel David Kriner, 601st Air and Space Operations Center commander. "It's our responsibility to be visible in that critical role as we protect Americans, and project our determination to keep them safe and free."

The ADDMs will be air-refueled by KC-135R Stratotankers from the 186th Air Refueling Wing from Meridian, Miss.

According to CONR commander, Maj. Gen. Hank Morrow, the patrols are a smart, efficient way to increase security, while supporting space shuttle launch operations and protecting Americans, in central Florida's popular and busy venues.

"The North American Aerospace Defense Command protects a variety of national assets throughout the nation on any given day," said General Morrow. "In this case we're increasing our sorties in the Cape Canaveral area during the Space Shuttle STS-118 launch window, as well as supporting Disney, Sea World and Universal Studios. "

"Those flights, as well as other sorties supporting STS-118, are part of CONR's continuing mission to protect America's airways and national assets," he said.

The ADDMs are carefully planned and closely controlled to ensure public safety while displaying NORAD's rapid response capability. CONR, under its parent command NORAD, had 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.

"Although not a response to any specific threat, the ADDMs are an important element in our overall homeland defense mission," said General Morrow. "We want Americans to recognize this as a prudent measure as we work around the clock for their continued protection."

Media wanting to cover the ADDM missions should contact AF/AFNORTH/CONR Public Affairs at 850-624-4293 or 850-890-2661.