Noble Eagle Reaches 55K

Two F-15 pilots with the Florida Air National Guard’s 125th Fighter Wing flying an Operation Noble Eagle intercept mission in late December coincidently completed the operation’s 55,000th sortie, the Continental US NORAD Region reported Jan. 14. Additionally, since the operation began on Sept. 11, 2001, ONE assigned fighter aircraft have responded to more than 2,350 possible air threats. Maj. Gen. Garry Dean, CONR commander, noted, “We have achieved an astounding 55,000 accident-free” sorties and have “ensured the continued sovereignty of our skies.” Although ONE no longer maintains fighters in the air 24/7, fighter crews, predominantly Air Guard, stand alert around the country. Col. John Bartholf, leader of the Eastern Air Defense Sector, said, “It continues to be a no-fail mission that protects our most precious resource—the citizens of this great nation.”