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"America's Air Operations Center" to open at Tyndall AFB

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- High-level military and civilian leaders from across the continent will soon converge on 1st Air Force and the Continental U.S. NORAD Region Headquarters to dedicate a new air operations center here.

Dubbed "America's AOC," the new, state-of-the-art, $15 million facility will enable
1st Air Force and CONR to better direct strategic air and homeland defense air forces for NORAD and U.S. Northern Command.

The Florida Air National Guard's 601st Air Operations Center will manage the day-to-day operations of the new 37,000 square foot facility. Scheduled to be operational by June, 2007, the AOC will enable homeland defenders to better protect the sovereign airspace of continental U.S., the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Additionally, the new facility will better allow the Air Force to provide rapid defense support to civil authorities in times of crisis and natural disasters.

"We're enhancing an already robust air defense system in our unyielding effort to protect our nation's citizens and resources," said Maj. Gen. Hank Morrow, commander of 1st Air Force and CONR. "America's AOC is committed to protecting our freedoms and preserving our way of life."

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EDITORS NOTE: Media wanting to cover a scheduled ribbon-cutting ceremony should contact 1st Air Force Public Affairs at 850-283-8659 for additional details