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We Have the Watch! America’s AOC monitors the skies over the continental U.S.

  • Published

Undeterred by the current COVID-19 global pandemic, members of the 601st Air Operations Center and 101st Air and Space Operations Group are hard-at-work to ensure the skies are safe over the continental United States.

“The air defense of our nation is a no-fail mission and our number one priority,” said Col. Greg Krane, 601 AOC commander. “Our Airmen are committed to defending our country around the clock and the safety and health of our members, both military and civilian, is paramount.”

Often referred to as “America’s AOC,” the AOC plans, directs, and assesses air and space operations for the North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command. The AOC secures the skies over the continental U.S., Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands and additionally provides aerial support to local authorities following natural disasters like hurricanes or earthquakes.

“Our people are the most valuable asset here at the AOC,” said Col. Matthew Jones, 101 AOG commander. “Their dedication and commitment to the mission is infallible regardless of the circumstances, we endured through Hurricane Michael, and we will endure through the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Currently, to keep a healthy, responsive force during COVID-19, members of America’s AOC are practicing social distancing, proper hygiene and exercising personal protective gear wear measures.

All safety measures have been adopted to protect service members to ensure the success of the NORAD mission.

“The resiliency of the men and women of America’s AOC is second to none,” said Chief Master Sgt. Karrie Bennett, 601 AOC chief enlisted manger. “I see it every day, in their professionalism and commitment to our mission of defending the homeland. It makes you truly proud to be part of team like the America’s AOC.”

The 601 AOC fills the critical need to meet the challenge of directing all air sovereignty activities for the continental U.S., Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and their surrounding waters. America’s AOC is a high-tech weapons “system of systems,’ to allow warfighters to continue the air defense mission 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

The backbone of America’s AOC is provided by Guardsmen from the Florida Air National Guard's 101 AOG.

For more information on America's AOC and their mission visit