Fighters respond to ultralight aircraft|
5/17/2010 - PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. (AFNS) -- Two F-16 Fighting Falcons, under the direction of North American Aerospace Defense Command controllers, intercepted an ultralight aircraft in the vicinity of the Southwest Arizona border May 16.
The aircraft was flying from Mexico and crossed into Arizona, and at the direction of NORAD controllers, the fighters were launched from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., to intercept the aircraft. Upon intercepting the aircraft, the F-16s shadowed it for 30 minutes until it turned and flew back into Mexico. The F-16s returned to base.
NORAD's mission, in close collaboration with homeland defense, security and law enforcement partners, is to prevent air attacks against North America, 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. NORAD may be required to monitor, shadow, divert from flight path, direct to land and/or destroy aircraft deemed a potential threat to North America.
NORAD is the bi-national Canadian and American command that is responsible for the air defense of North America and maritime warning. The command has three subordinate regional headquarters: the Alaskan NORAD Region at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska; the Canadian NORAD Region at Winnipeg, Manitoba; and the Continental NORAD Region at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. The command is poised both tactically and strategically in our nation's capital to provide a multilayered defense to detect, deter and prevent potential threats flying over the airspace of the United States and Canada.