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CONR fighters remain on alert

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Despite a worldwide suspension of U.S. Air Force F-15 operations, Continental U.S. NORAD regional air defense fighters remain mission-capable and on alert protecting North America.

The U.S. Air Force suspended non-mission critical F-15 flight operations Nov. 3 following the crash of a Missouri Air National Guard F-15C aircraft Nov. 2.

In the interim, the Air Force officials have said mission requirements will be met by other aircraft with the similar capabilities, such as the F-16.

As the transition is taking place, the F-15 may still fly under a mandatory scramble order. NORAD's mission to deter, detect and defend North American skies remains unabated, said Maj Gen Hank Morrow, CONR commander. 

This suspension of U.S. Air Force F-15s is in response to a recent F-15 mishap and will remain in effect until further details concerning the possible cause of the mishap can be determined.

"We are closely watching the initial investigation of Friday's incident while we continue in our important air defense role," said General Morrow. "Protecting North America's airways is our first priority and we will remain on alert, on duty."

CONR is the U.S. regional element of NORAD, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary next May, is the bi-national American and Canadian command responsible for the air defense of North America and maritime warning. Since Sept. 11, 2001, NORAD fighters have responded to more than 2,400 possible air threats in the United States, Canada and Alaska, and have flown more than 46,600 sorties. For more information on NORAD and this issue, please call 719-554-6889 or 719-330-5169.

At this time, the duration of this suspension of flight operations cannot be determined until an engineering review has occurred. For more information about the grounded F-15s, please call the U.S. Air Force Press Desk at (703) 695-0640.