- Contrary to rumors surrounding the Air Combat Command's
stand-down of all 100,000 active-duty airmen ordered for tomorrow, the
U.S. will not be devoid of fighter aircraft to protect the nation.
- Michael Kucharek, spokesman for NORAD and USNORTHCOM,
told WND the stand-down does not include the Air National Guard and Air
Force Reserves assigned to NORAD.
- About 70 percent of the aircraft involved in NORAD alerts
are Air National Guard or Air Force Reserves aircraft, according to Kucharek.
- Meanwhile, NORAD and USNORTHCOM will be on alert status
Monday when the U.N. convenes a high level meeting on climate change and
also Tuesday when the General Assembly begins its 62nd Session in New York
- The stand-down Friday was ordered by Gen. Ronald Keys
to conduct a command-wide review of operations, safety procedures and checklists
after the Aug. 30 incident at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota, according
to the Air Force Times. At Minot, six cruse missiles with nuclear warheads
were loaded onto a B-52H and flown to Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana
without the bomber crew or ground command realizing nuclear weapons
were on the aircraft.
- Military sources insisted to WND the incident was a procedural
glitch and there is no suspicion within the military of any other purpose.
- At the U.N. Monday, Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon will
chair the meetings, and numerous heads of state are likely to attend.
- According to Kucharek, Canadian and U.S. NORAD aircraft
will be armed and on alert status, prepared to scramble from unspecified
- Kucharek told WND the aircraft involved in the alert
will be F-15s and F-16s assigned to the NORAD Air Defense Deterrence Mission.
- Under Operation NOBLE EAGLE, which NORAD has conducted
since 9/11, fighters on alert have scrambled from alert sites and diverted
from irregular air patrols more than 2,400 times, Kucharek told WND.
- More than 44,000 sorties have been flown in support of
the missions, including support from tanker and AWACS aircraft. "NORAD
and USNORTHCOM missions," Kucharek said, "are conducted in close
collaboration with homeland defense, security and law enforcement partners
to prevent air attacks against North America and to safeguard the sovereign
airspaces of the United States and Canada by responding to unknown, unwanted
and unauthorized air activity approaching and operating within these airspaces,
and to provide aerospace and maritime warning for North America."
- As <http://www.globalresearch.ca/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=56234>WND
reported, NORAD is a bi-lateral U.S.-Canada command and USNORTHCOM is a
U.S. continental military command that works with its counterpart Canada
- Kucharek also confirmed NORAD and USNORTHCOM were <http://www.norad.mil/News/2007/083007.html>scheduled
Oct. 15-20 to conduct exercise Vigilant Shield '08, a series of field exercises
abilities against a variety of potential threats, including the simulated
detonation of three radiological dispersal devices within the USNORTHCOM
and U.S. Pacific Command areas of responsibility.
- The primary locations for the Vigilant Shield '08 field
exercises will be Oregon, Arizona and the territory of Guam.
reported Bush administration plans to utilize USNORTHCOM as a U.S. military
command to direct the operations of troops deployed in a wide range of
continental North American emergencies, including health epidemics, natural
disasters, terrorist events and even domestic violence or civil disorder.