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"Optimism (light) is the power that ultimately defeats fear (darkness)."

Saturday, December 24, 2005

USAF AWACS -- Operation Just Clause

In just 23 hours, the U.S. Air Force will be executing a very important mission: Operation Just Clause. A mission that will last for upwards of 6 hours and criss-cross the United States. Very dedicated and highly trained personnel from the 552nd Air Control Wing, 964th Airborne Air Control Squadron, are deep in the midst of this mission. This mission comes to them as this very famous team from Tinker AFB OK are celebrating their 50th Anniversary!

They have been training all year for a mission that covers thousands and thousands of miles, requiring a refueling (most likely the 196th ARS Grizzlies of CA or the 344th ARS of Seymour Johnson NC) operation in an undisclosed location in the midwestern United States. Maybe the 350th ARS Red Falcons (old Beale AFB - my old home) of the 22nd Air Refueling Wing are called up - it's all Need to Know OPSEC and I haven't been briefed. Rats.

This mission is so important, in fact, that for the first time Santa's flight plan has been given to the U.S. Air Force. As Captain Bob Krause, the 552 Air Control Wing Public Affairs officer, states:
"Previously considered sensitive information, AWACS crews are for the first time privy to Santa’s exact flight plans he will follow early Christmas morning. This year Santa will make his arrival in New England and follow a north and south flight plan gradually working his way west toward California."

"Mission crews spent most of today preparing for this unique mission. Of primary concern was the tremendous performance of Santa's sleigh.
It seems that the flight profile far exceeds the physical performance of the E-3 AWACS. But, not to worry, the "Eyes in the Skies" don't really need to be "right on his tail", so to speak. As Aircraft Commander Captain Chris Egan puts it:
"We really don't have the performance to keep up with Santa's sleigh but we do have the equipment on board to track a circumference around him. We can't chase him around the sky, but we'll keep a good track on him."
Uh-huh - with JTIDS (Joint Tactical Information Distribution System) employed and NORAD always ever watchful, Santa is sure to be safe and toys will get where they are supposed to be on time! I'll let Kyle Mullen the 964th Airborne Air Control Squadron Mission Crew Commander say it best:
"We provide the unique ability to flight-follow right with Santa. We're going to make sure he gets where he needs to go and gets the toys to the kids."
Rest assured boys and girls - Santa's Gonna be here, he'll be safe, and your United States Air Force keeps the skies clear!


Stay Tuned to ...


At 12/24/2005 11:13:00 PM, Blogger yankeemom said...

That is so cool!! Merry, Merry Christmas to you!

At 12/26/2005 06:36:00 PM, Blogger GunnNutt said...

Some silly and sarcastic thoughts ran through my mind while reading this post, like "was Congress briefed on this mission?" and "will the NYTimes reveal this to be a cover for a new CIA rendition operation?", but I won't mention them. ;)

Santa couldn't have been in better hands than those of our wonderful volunteer Air Force.

Belated Merry Christmas and early Happy New Year!

At 12/27/2005 09:44:00 AM, Blogger Sgt. B. said...

Bravo Zulu to the USAF for clearing the airspace for Jolly St. Nick!

Once again: Mission Accomplished!

At 12/27/2005 10:07:00 AM, Blogger LinkedInUSAF said...

YankeeMom, have fun with your Soldier on leave. I am sure she is happy to be home! Merry Christmas to you, too!

Gunn Nutt, uh-huh, if it isn't we're bad for sending up an E-3 to make sure Santa is OK, now it's gonna be a mess that the Administration is trying to help Anna Nicole Smith. Oh my, what an end to 2005!

Sgt. B, thanks for stopping by (I went to your site, too) and saying Hi! Yep, Santa left some joy here in our house too! Keep 'em in your sites, and strike as quickly as practical - react with confidence! :)


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