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CONR team supports successful shuttle launch

2/25/2011 - CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. (AFNS) -- Officials with the Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command Region, or CONR, and Air Forces Northern provided crucial airspace control and manning support to the successful launch of Space Shuttle Discovery Feb. 24.

CONR representatives ensured airspace sovereignty by enforcing the Federal Aviation Administration's temporary flight restriction area established around Kennedy Space Center. Using F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 20th Fighter Wing at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., CONR controllers were able to identify and redirect four aircraft that inadvertently violated the restricted airspace prior to launch.

They also deployed the Joint-Based Expeditionary Connectivity Center team to Cape Canaveral to provide an overarching air picture to the supported entities.

AFNORTH officials provided the headquarters manning for U.S. Northern Command's Joint Task Force-Space Transportation System, responsible for the search and rescue of the astronauts and recovery of the orbiter if the need arises. They also serve as the operational level focal point for situational understanding and crisis response to space shuttle mission contingencies.

"As members of CONR, we proudly support the shuttle mission, from protecting the shuttle's immediate airspace to providing manning for potential search and rescue operations," said Col. Scott Barberides, JTF-STS commander.

The task force provides the command and control of Department of Defense forces during crisis response from the Morrell Operations Center at Cape Canaveral AFS.

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