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bogeyman
20th July 2013, 19:02
NORAD (North America Aerospace Defense Command)

The operational procedures for the defense of the United States and Canada are interesting to some degree I will provide the basic details since it is informative concerning the air defense of the Continental NORAD Region (CONR).

NORAD regions are spilt into three zones. Alaska NORAD Region (ANR), Canadian NORAD Region (CANR), and CONR (mentioned above). The main mission of NORAD is persistent aerospace warnings coordination and maritime warning in the defense of North America. CONR conducts sustained air and space operations within its assigned Area of Operations (AO), these are designed to deter, prevent and if necessary defeat any hostile attack, on CONUS (Continental United States), its citizen, and designated critical infrastructure.

CONR is presently divided into two defense sectors: the Western Defense Sector, with its headquarters located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.; and the Eastern Defense Sector, with its headquarters located at Rome, N.Y.

Co-located with Headquarters First Air Force (Air Forces Northern) at Tyndall AFB, Fla., a Combined Air Operations Center coordinates CONR sector activities and executes the NORAD air sovereignty mission for the continental United States. First Air Force (AFNORTH) plans, conducts, controls, and coordinates all Air Force forces for the NORAD-NORTHCOM Commander.

CONR is one of three NORAD regions. The two other regions are the Canadian NORAD Region (CANR), with its headquarters located at Canadian Forces Base, Winnipeg, and the Alaskan NORAD Region (ANR), with its headquarters located at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska. NORAD is the bi-national Canadian and American command that employs a network of space-based, aerial and ground-based sensors, air-to-air refuelling tankers and fighter aircraft, controlled by a sophisticated command and control network to deter, detect and defend against aerial threats that originate outside or within North American airspace.

CONUS is the geographical component of the binational NORAD, it provides surveillance and control and directs all sovereignty activities of the continental United States. CONUS activity is broken down into Tracks of Interest (TOI)(Unknown Aircraft not talking or squawking; Unknowns (tracks), FAA Request for Assistance, and Suspect Tracks (has of 2007-2009).

In North America, the US and Canada are surrounded by an ADIZ (Air Defense Identification Zone), which is jointly administered by civilian air traffic control authorities and the militaries of both Canada and the United States, under the auspices of NORAD.

Any aircraft approaching and crossing into the ADIZ must have an operational radar transponder, and maintain two way radio contact. The FAA handles request international aircraft in the United States. If aircraft flies into these ADIZs without authorization they may be identified as a threat and treated as an enemy aircraft , and this could potentially lead to interception by fighter aircraft. Any aircraft may fly or operate within, or cross an ADIZ if they have a flight plan with an aeronautical facility, and have a coded radar beacon transponder, for identification, these are a part of the entry procedures. If no communication is given a scamble may occur by fighter aircraft.

TFRs (Temporary Flight Restrictions) are a geographically limited, short term, airspace restrictions, typically in the United States. The natures of these restrictions often encompass major sports events, national disaster areas, air shows, space launches and Presidential movements. TFRS since 9/11 have been routinely use to restrict airspace for 30 miles around the President.

Air Defense Scrambles do occur if there are ADIZ Violations, TFR Violations, Threat to High Value Asset, FAA Request for Assistance, Airline Request for Assistance and Custom and Border Patrol (CBP) Request (Suspect).

For 2007-2009 the area with the most CONR Tracks of Interest, Unknowns (Tracks), TFR Violators, FAA Request for Assistance and Suspect Tracks is the Bahamian Corridor, which is one of the most activity airspace in the world.

Between Sept 2004 and Jan 2005 in the CONUS there were 640 Tracks, these were Unknowns (Unknown Tracks), TFR Violators, FAA Request for Assistance and Suspect Tracks. This resulted in 377 Scrambles with an estimate cost of 4.5 million dollars. For the SEADS (South East Air Defense Sector ) there were 217 Tracks which accounts for 34 % of total and 129 of 377 scrambles thatís 34% of total activity for Sept 2004 and Jan 2005. For this period there were 40 Unknowns, 37 were identified by Air Traffic Control, which resulted in 13 scrambles and 3 intercepts.