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Air Force Unit Providing Domestic Air Security Reaches 50,000th Mission Milestone

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- The Continental U.S. NORAD Region (CONR) reached a significant milestone last night as the 50,000th Operation NOBLE EAGLE (ONE) sortie conducted over the continental United States was flown locally over South Carolina airspace. 

       Two F-16s from the 20th Fighter Wing at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., flew the landmark ONE sortie. The overall total of flights in the continental United States, Alaska and Hawaii for ONE is more than 51,500 with CONR responsible for a considerable portion of those missions representing a substantial contribution to Homeland Air Defense and the Global War on Terror. 

         The ONE mission is to protect the homeland from air threats, and if necessary, eliminate threats that endanger the public or critical infrastructure in the United States. 

        According to the CONR commander, Maj. Gen. Hank Morrow, current air defense operations are threat driven and take into account the improvements in air security that has taken place since Sept. 11, 2001. 

        "These 50,000 flights are a symbol to the nation of the service, dedication and talent of the men and women who serve as part of the Continental U.S. NORAD Region's continuing mission. We have been working every day since 9/11 to support local, state and federal law enforcement agencies in providing a safe and secure nation," said Gen. Morrow. 

         The sorties are closely controlled to ensure public safety while displaying NORAD's rapid response capability. CONR, under its parent command NORAD, has conducted air patrols throughout the U.S. and Canada since the start of ONE - the command's response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. 

          Although not always a response to any specific threat, the sorties are an important element in the overall homeland defense mission. 

          "We continue to look both inward and outward to help ensure our liberty as we defend the homeland. CONR is continually working with senior federal and state officials to deter any potential air threat," said Gen. Morrow. 

For further information about Operation Noble please contact CONR (1st AF) Public Affairs, at 850-283-8657, or afnorthpa2@tyndall.af.mil