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NORAD commander thanks WADS for actions after plane stolen near Seattle

  • Published
  • By Maj. Kimberly D. Burke, WADS Public Affairs

The NORAD and USNORTHCOM commander arrived at Joint Base Lewis-McChord Aug. 23 to personally thank the men and women of the Western Air Defense Sector for their quick actions when a Horizon Bombardier Q400 commercial plane was stolen from SeaTac International Airport Aug. 10. 

Gen. Terrence O'Shaughnessy met with the WADS operations crew that provided command and control of the 142nd Fighter Wing's F-15 intercept of the stolen aircraft.  The crew had an opportunity to discuss the intercept and answer O'Shaughnessy's questions during his visit.  Weapons directors assigned to the 225th Air Defense Squadron, Tech. Sgt. Brian Kulp, Tech. Sgt. Aaron DeCremer and Staff Sgt. David Jacob were specifically recognized with commander's coins by O’Shaughnessy for the critical role they played during the intercept. 

The WADS is staff by active-duty Washington Air National Guardsmen, Royal Canadian Air Force, U.S. Navy liaison officers, and Federal civilians.   The unit supports the NORAD integrated warning and attack assessment missions and the USNORTHCOM homeland defense mission. WADS is responsible for air sovereignty and counter-air operations over the Western United States and directs a variety of assets to defend 2.2 million square miles of land and sea west of the Mississippi River.