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CONR and America’s AOC receive ‘mission ready’ rating

  • Published
  • By Capt. Jared Scott
  • 601st AOC Public Affairs
A North American Aerospace Defense Command inspection team recently visited here for a Regional Alert Force Evaluation of the Continental U.S. NORAD Region and the 601st Air and Space Operations Center.

The 601st AOC, often referred to as America's AOC, welcomed the team of 16 inspectors from NORAD who spent two days observing the AOC's mission-planning process and air defense operations.

CONR and the AOC received an overall rating of 'mission ready' in all areas-the highest rating achievable.

"To say that I am extremely proud of the men and women of this AOC would be an understatement," said Col. Thomas Cucchi, 601st AOC commander. "The NORAD IG (Inspector General) team took a look at our real world planning process for this year's Super Bowl on the first day and then evaluated our air defense operations the next. Our plans team did an excellent job showcasing our mission-planning process and the operations floor flawlessly executed numerous air defense scenarios simultaneously."

The RAFE is an evaluation tool designed to ensure all NORAD regions and supporting units remain 'mission ready' to provide the best possible air defense shield for North America.

"The coordination between the AOC and the CONR staff could not have been better," said Lt. Gen. William Etter, CONR commander. "CONR received a grade of 'mission ready' and the IG team had zero findings. To put it another way, this was a perfect score."

During the evaluation, the NORAD IG team identified 10 superior performers, a 'best seen to date' for the planning portion of the RAFE and a 'best practice' for the AOC's general aviation outreach for Super Bowl XLVIII.

"The men and women of CONR and the AOC continue to prove time and again their commitment to the success of our critical no-fail mission and these RAFE results are a testament to this fact," Etter said.

The 601st AOC is responsible for detecting, deterring, defending and if necessary, defeating any aviation threat to the citizens of the United States and to U.S. critical infrastructure. The AOC is primarily manned by the Florida Air National Guard's 101st Air and Space Operations Group.

For additional information on America's AOC or its mission visit or