Oct. 12, 2006 —
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Approximately four hours after NORAD completed its combat air patrol mission in response to an aircraft crash into a building in New York City yesterday, fighter aircraft returned to their home bases.
Only minutes after the crash, NORAD scrambled several fighter and support aircraft to cities on the East and West Coasts including New York, Washington, D.C., Boston and Canadian cities. The aircraft were dispatched as a prudent measure and in anticipation of a potential terrorist attack. They were airborne for several hours until it was determined that the incident was an accident.
NORAD is a bi-national United States and Canadian organization charged with the missions of aerospace warning and aerospace control for North America. Aerospace warning includes the monitoring of man-made objects in space, and the detection, validation, and warning of attack against North America whether by aircraft, missiles, or space vehicles utilizing mutual support arrangements with other commands. Aerospace control includes ensuring air sovereignty and air defense of the airspace of Canada and the United States.
USNORTHCOM was established Oct. 1, 2002, to provide command and control of Department of Defense homeland defense efforts and to coordinate defense support of civil authorities. USNORTHCOM defends America's homeland — protecting our people, national power, and freedom of action. USNORTHCOM’s specific missions are to conduct operations to deter, prevent, and defeat threats and aggression aimed at the United States, its territories and interests within the assigned area of responsibility (AOR); and as directed by the president or secretary of defense, provide defense support of U.S. civil authorities.
For additional information, please contact the NORAD-USNORTHCOM Public Affairs Office at 719-554-6889.
Listen to the Oct. 11 press conference with Admiral Timothy J. Keating, commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command (14 mb download)